The alternative to Netflix: what’s the surprise new streaming network, how are rivals aligning

The merged HBO Max and Discovery+ streaming service could simply be called “Max”. It would be the ideal alternative to Netflix.

Shorter names aren’t always better, but there are some valid reasons for the rumored rebranding.

Warner Bros. Discovery will soon combine HBO Max and Discovery+ into a single streaming service with a new name. At the moment, the frontrunner for the merged platform’s name appears to be “Max”.

HBO Max and Disney+ team up against Netflix

The company’s lawyers are checking several names, but Max is said to be the leader of the group. A Warner Bros. spokesperson told CNBC that the company is still discussing names. However, they’ll have to make a decision soon enough, as the merged streaming service is scheduled to arrive in the spring.

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HBO has accumulated a certain level of prestige over the years. However, the leaders of Warner Bros. Discovery see some value in positioning HBO as a sub-brand alongside the likes of Discovery and CNN. The company’s CEO, David Zaslav, cut spending on HBO Max after WarnerMedia and Discovery merged earlier this year. The streaming service will have much more to offer than HBO content.

As CNBC notes, there has been confusion over the branding of the HBO streaming apps – HBO Max was preceded by HBO Go and HBO Now. Having another one with HBO in the name could muddy the waters even more. What’s more, executives have reportedly expressed concern that the HBO Max name could weaken HBO’s value as a brand if consumers correlate it with less prestigious content on the streaming service.

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The new-look platform will reportedly have a similar setup to Disney+, with hubs for content from HBO, Discovery, DC Comics, Warner Bros. and more (Disney+ has some for Star Wars, Pixar, National Geographic and so on). It’s not yet clear how much Max subscriptions will cost, or what it will be called.

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