HBO Max Vs. HBO Go Vs. HBO Now: Here's The Difference Between The Three Services

HBO Max launches this week – tomorrow, to be exact – and people are still not quite sure how it works. Is the new streaming service the same thing as HBO? Or HBO Go? Or HBO Now? Sensing the confusion in the air, the folks at HBO released a new explainer video that details the differences while hopefully putting all questions to bed.

HBO Max vs HBO Go vs HBO Now

"Do I need to get HBO Max if I already have HBO Go and/or HBO Now?" you may be wondering. Well, here's the answer: Maybe? Not really? Sort of? The video above breaks things down, but I have to say, it doesn't do the most thorough job. Here's how they explain it: If you subscribe to HBO, you can stream HBO Go through your TV or cable provider, while HBO Now is for people who don't have an HBO subscription – think of it as an HBO streaming service.

Which is also an apt description for HBO Max. The difference is that HBO Max will give you everything on HBO Go/HBO Now while also providing you with new titles exclusive to HBO Max. The HBO Max website provides this explanation for the entire endeavor:

The biggest difference is what you can stream. HBO Max is a stand-alone streaming platform where you can stream all of HBO along with new Max Originals and iconic series and blockbuster movies from WarnerMedia's characters and brands. HBO NOW and HBO GO are your options for streaming HBO, including every season and every episode of your favorite HBO original series, hit movies, award-winning specials, and more.

In other words, if you're happy with "normal" HBO, you can stick with HBO Now and HBO Go. But if you want more, you're going to have to subscribe to HBO Max, which will run you $14.99 a month. The good news is that if you get HBO Max you don't need to keep HBO Go/HBO Now, or even regular HBO, because everything on those channels will be available on HBO Max.