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Data: Axios research; Chart: Axios Visuals

HBO Max is set to launch this Wednesday, making it the third and final major streaming service to launch during the pandemic. (Quibi launched April 6th and NBCU's Peacock launched April 15th.)

Why it matters: At $14.99 monthly, it's the most expensive offering within its competitive set. But it also launches with a slew of exclusive fan favorites, ranging from "Friends" and "The Big Bang Theory" to "Game of Thrones."

Yes, but: With existing name recognition, it should be easier for consumers to get excited about the new service, but data from Morning Consult shows that with so many options out there already, consumers aren't totally aware that their favorite shows will be included in the package.

Between the lines: The test for AT&T is how successfully it can move its current HBO subscribers from its old apps.

  • AT&T already has millions of customers that subscribe to its current streaming app, HBO Now. Millions more get access to HBO content on a different app called HBO Go with their HBO cable subscriptions.
  • AT&T will automatically upgrade existing HBO Now subscribers to become HBO Max subscribers for the same price when the service launches.
  • HBO Max gives consumers access all of AT&T's content, which includes HBO as well as content from its other cable networks like TNT and TBS. It also includes some original series and movie content from Warner Bros.

What's next: Executives have said that it hopes to reach 50 million paid subscribers by 2025.

Go deeper

Lindsey Graham challenger Jaime Harrison wants to usher in the "new South"

Jaime Harrison, the Democrat running against Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, told "Axios on HBO" that he's poised to "close the chapter on the old South" if elected in November.

Why it matters: Many people thought this Senate race was a long shot for Democrats, but things are changing quickly as polls show the contest is tightening and it's become the most well-funded race in South Carolina history, per the Post and Courier.

Americans are super-sizing their holiday travel

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Americans are rushing back into holiday travel, and many are taking even longer trips now than they did before the pandemic began.

The big picture: After skipping Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings last year, many people are eager to maximize this year's celebrations with friends and family. And flexible remote working arrangements make that easier than ever.

Updated 17 hours ago - Sports

The potential GOAT of chess faces intriguing challenger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi began on Friday, 1,094 days after Carlsen won his fourth consecutive title.

Why it matters: During the long, COVID-fueled layoff, chess entered a new era, and with the championship finally here, the age-old game is ready for its close-up.