Nowadays, it seems like streaming services are appearing everywhere. Disney released its service late last year and NBC is planning to release its service, called Peacock, this July. All these services range in quality, content, and especially price. Peacock is offering two versions of their service; a premium version and a free ad-based version. However, free members are not allowed access to the full NBC catalog. Disney’s service, which is called Disney Plus, offers Disney’s complete catalog including all the Marvel and Pixar films. Furthermore, their acquisition of Fox means Fox’s properties are on Disney Plus as well. The question now is whether HBO Max poses a threat to these streaming services.
First of all, HBO has name recognition. They have created ground-breaking shows that have changed the television landscape. These programs include The Wire, The Sopranos, and Game of Thrones. Furthermore, unlike other new streaming services, HBO Max launched with a pre-established base of subscribers. Those who are paying for HBO GO and HBO Now (depending on their cable provider) have already received a free upgrade to HBO Max. But what makes HBO Max different than its competitors is its catalog. While Disney’s acquisition of Fox means Fox’s properties like The Simpson and the original Star Wars trilogy are able to be stream on Disney Plus, HBO is owned by Warner Bros. This means films like the Harry Potter franchise and The Dark Knight Trilogy will be able to be stream on HBO Max soon. Additionally, HBO Max has the entire HBO lineup including great shows like Watchmen, Barry, and Succession. HBO is also intending to create more original content for the platform including creating a Game of Throne prequel and financing Zack Snyder re-make of the Justice League Film.
HBO MAX is not just streaming its own original content plus the Warner Bros catalog. Users are also able to stream many popular TV shows from other networks including Doctor Who, Rick and Morty, and Friends (HBO Max was even planning to do a Friends Reunion for its launch but due to COVID-19, it was pushed back). Furthermore, HBO was able to strike a deal with Studio Ghibli, the studio who created ground-breaking animated films like Kiki Special Delivery and My Neighbor Totoro. This will be the first time that these films will be able to be stream in the US. HBO also acquired many academy-award winning films like Titanic, Ben-Hur, Jaws, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Casablanca, and An American in Paris. Many of these classic Hollywood films are a part of the TCM collection, which is also owned by Warner Bros. The combination of classic Hollywood, new films, popular franchises, great originals, and new shows to come, HBO Max poses a great threat to many of the high-power streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. For only 15 dollars a month, it is a solid option for most family and the ability to stream to three devices at once is a nice addition as well.