Home > Culture > A Step-by-Step Guide to HBO Max: What to Watch & How to Join for Free

A Step-by-Step Guide to HBO Max: What to Watch & How to Join for Free

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Curious about HBO Max? From hit shows and movies to documentaries, comedy specials and more, the streaming giant has enough content to keep everyone in the household entertained. Keep reading to learn more about HBO Max, including membership plans, pricing and how to get a free trial.



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What Is HBO Max?

HBO Max is the streaming platform launched by Warner Bros in 2020. The platform, which replaced HBO Go, gained a massive following during the beginning of the pandemic, namely because every 2021 Warner Bros. movie arrived on HBO Max the same day as its theater release. HBO Max and its sister streamer, Discovery+, have since grown to a combined 96.1 million subscribers (and counting).


Warner Bros. Discovery decided not to merge HBO Max and Discovery+ into one streaming platform and will reportedly launch a platform combining programming from both streamers. In the meantime, read on for a breakdown of HBO Max as it stands today, and what to watch.

What to Watch on HBO Max

Whether you love television, movies or a blend of both, HBO Max has the kind of streaming library tailormade for binge watchers. Some of the new, upcoming and previous seasons to hit HBO Max include Succession, which returned for its fourth and final season on March 26.

The Last of Us, The White Lotus, House of the DragonA Black Lady Sketch Show, Barry, The Sex Lives of College Girls, Rap Sh!t, Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin, The Flight Attendant, Selena + Chef, Hacks and Euphoria are streaming on HBO Max along with movies and documentaries such as The Weeknd: Live at Sofi Stadium, Love, Lizzo, Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over, Shaq, Winning TimeThe Menu, Don’t Worry Darling, All That Breathes, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, Making of The Last of Us, Music Box: Jason Isbell Running With Our Eyes Closed, Black Adam, Amsterdam and The Batman.

Also streaming on HBO Max: Industry, Belle, The Cleaning Lady, Abbott Elementary, The Vampire Diaries, Fixer Upper: The Castle, Property Brothers: Forever Home, And Just Like That, Gossip Girl, South Side, Station ElevenLove Life, The Staircase, Peacemaker, Tokyo Vice and episodes of Degrassi: The Next Generation and HBO’s Hard Knocks series.

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver and Real Time With Bill Maher are on HBO Max, as well as numerous movies, classic episodes of beloved sitcoms such as The Nanny, The Fresh-Prince of Bel-Air and Friends, along with kid-approved and family-friendly shows including Sesame Street, Ben 10 and Looney Tunes Cartoons.

How Much Does HBO Max Cost?

HBO Max has expanded to two subscription tiers: ad-supported and commercial free. The platform also  allows you to watch certain episodes for free. HBO Max’s paid subscriptions start at $9.99 ($99.99 a year) for ad-supported streaming, or $15.99 ($149.99 a year) to watch ad free.




The ad-supported and ad-free streaming plans let you enjoy over 13,000 hours of entertainment, exclusive access to must-watch movies, all your HBO favorites — and you can stream from up to five different profiles, which is great if there are multiple people in your household.

What’s only available on the ad-free plan? With HBO Max’s commercial-free plan, users can stream certain movies in 4K, download content to watch offline and stream from other countries. Streaming from outside the U.S.? Access HBO Max through ExpressVPN.

Does HBO Max Offer a Free Trial?

Unfortunately, HBO Max does not offer free trials, but the streaming giant has free episodes and previously announced promotions such last year’s $1.99/monthly deal for Black Friday and a 20% discount. You never know when the platform will launch another streaming deal, but there are ways to go about getting HBO Max for free right now.

Already subscribed to HBO? You may already have free HBO Max through Samsung TV, Roku, Verizon Fios and other cable or live TV streaming platforms. Not sure? Click here to find out if you already have access to HBO Max. Otherwise, you can score a free trail to HBO Max through platforms such as Prime Video and DirectTV Stream. AT&T quietly removed the HBO Max bundle deal from its wireless plans, but customers can still access free HBO Max with select plans and Cricket Wireless currently offers free HBO Max with a $60 unlimited plan.

Can you get a free trial to HBO Max through Hulu? New subscribers can enjoy a free trial to Hulu and add HBO Max as an additional channel for an extra $14.99 a month.

Currently, Direct TV Stream’s monthly plans start at $64.99/month with a two-year price guarantee and a Gemini streaming device.

DirectTV Stream’s HBO Choice plan is $84.99/month for 105+ live channels and local TV stations, DVR, sports channels (ACC Network, Big Ten Network, MLB Network, NBA TV, SEC Network, etc.) and more. You can also add HBO Max, Showtime, Starz and other channels for an additional fee.

The Premiere Plan ($154.99/month) includes free HBO Max, Showtime, Starz and Cinemax as well as everything in the cheaper tier, plus over 150+ live and local channels, 65,000 on-demand titles, unlimited DVR recording, regional sports networks and other benefits.

How to Get a Free Trial to HBO Max Through Prime Video

Prime Video recently added HBO Max to its lineup which includes Paramount+, Showtime, Starz, BET+, AMC+, Discovery+ and other streamers that you can add to your subscription. HBO Max is available ad-free for $15.99/month after a free trial for a week.

HBO Max on Prime Video
$15.99/month after 7-day free trial.

Prime Video is one of the many perks that’s included with Amazon Prime memberships. If you’re not a Prime member, click here to launch your 30-day free trial ($14.99/month after the free trial ends).

Besides Prime Video, the subscription includes free shipping on millions of items, a subscription to Amazon Prime Music, free GrubHub+ for a year and tons of other member benefits.

Prime Video recently beat out Netflix to become the No.1 subscription streaming platform in the U.S. The platform features Amazon Originals like Daisy Jones & The Six, Swarm, The Power, Harlem, Riches, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan and The Boyz, movies like Shotgun Wedding, Somebody I Used to Know, The People We Hate at the Wedding, My Policeman, The Summer I Turned Pretty along with music, fashion and sports programs such as Kendrick Lamar’s The Big Steppers Tour in Paris, Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty Vol. 4 and Thursday Night Football. You’ll also find paid episodes of hits shows Yellowstone, RuPaul’s Drag Race; and blockbuster films like Avatar: The Way of Water and Creed III on Prime Video.

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