HBO Max Touts "Human-Powered Discovery" To Fight Endless Scrolling

It's happened to all of us: after a long day of work, you plop down on the couch to watch a movie and fire up your streaming service of choice...only to scroll through a seemingly endless amount of bland choices for 45 minutes. By that point, you've wasted so much time that you just decide to give up and throw on a familiar show as some comfort viewing instead.

HBO Max wants to put an end to that.

In the company's big unveiling presentation from the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, WarnerMedia executives announced that the new streaming service will use "human-powered discovery" in addition to smart analytics to help curate a more ideal user experience for subscribers. Find out details below.

HBO Max Human-Powered Discovery

Talent and influencers will be the humans utilized in this "Recommended by Humans" feature, sharing the content they love. HBO has been playing with this idea for a little while now, but this seems like they've taken it to the next level. The example shown during the presentation was Zac Efron (High School Musical, Neighbors) talking about why he loves one of his favorite movies, The Exorcist. In this example, you could watch Efron talk about the movie and then browse other recommendations he's made.

You've probably also logged in to your profile on a streaming service and watched something you wouldn't normally have watched – maybe a piece of kids' programming with a visiting niece or nephew. And if you've done that, you know what kind of havoc that can wreak on your recommendations – good luck convincing the algorithm to stop putting Daniel Tiger episodes in your face for the rest of your life.

But one of the most interesting ways HBO Max is going to differentiate itself from its competitors is by what they're calling "co-viewing." Basically, each member of a subscriber's family will be able to set up their own individual profile, but when they want to watch content together, they can log in simultaneously to a new, separate profile that won't affect the recommendations for the individual profiles. They can also create shared watch lists.

Subscribers will be also able to download content for offline viewing, and also access things like HBO-branded podcasts through the app as well (here's where I give a free shout-out to the Chernobyl Podcast, which is excellent and definitely worth listening to). $14.99 per month may be comparatively steep, but it seems like the company is going all-out to give you the most bang for your buck.