HBO Max is one of the newest streaming services on the market, but it’s already proving to be a strong competitor to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.
After a little more than a year, the streaming service has over 40 million subscribers in the United States.
Although it is built around content from HBO shows, the streaming service also has content from other media properties owned by WarnerMedia, its parent company.
Already, many shows on the streaming platform have generated buzz among critics and on social media.
However, is it really worth it to get HBO Max, especially if you have other streaming services already?
In this article we’ll be discussing the pros and cons of this latest addition to the streaming world that can help you make your decision.
How Much Does HBO Max Cost?
HBO Max offers a few different plans with different costs and benefits. The standard price is $14.99 a month, or $149.99 if you pay for an annual subscription, which saves you about $30.
There is also a less expensive plan that only costs $9.99 a month or $99.99 for the whole year. However, this plan comes with ads.
What Are the Different HBO Max Plans?
HBO Max offers two different plans for subscribers.
With Ads: Like Hulu, HBO Max offers a streaming option with ads that is less expensive than the ad-free version. However, HBO Max’s plan is more expensive than Hulu’s, clocking in at $9.99 a month.
The ads are only a few minutes per hour’s worth of content and do not appear on all movies and TV shows. In terms of service, the access you have with this plan is virtually the same as the ad-free version.
There are a few features that subscribers to the more affordable plan do not have compared to the version without ads.
The ad-supported plan does not allow users access to Warner Brothers movies the same day that they are released in movie theaters, the picture quality is capped at 1080 p, and you can’t download content to watch offline.
Ad-Free: The second tier of HBO Max plans costs $14.99 a month but allows you to watch all content without advertisements. You also get a few extra perks, such as the ability to stream Warner Brothers movies the same day they appear in theaters, the ability to download up to 30 movies to watch offline, and you can watch select movies in high-quality 4K HDR streaming.
Advantages of HBO Max
There is a reason why HBO Max has grown so quickly even in the saturated streaming market. Here are a few benefits of the service.
Few other streaming services can compete with HBO Max’s collection. Besides HBO originals, which include some of the best TV shows of the past decade, it has Warner Brothers movies from the day that they are released, older films such as Studio Ghibli and select Criterion Collection works, and even exclusive events such as the Friends reunion.
HBO Max lets you stream content on three different devices online, which means you can share it with family and friends. By contrast, Netflix lets you watch on multiple screens if you pay for the Standard (2 screens) or Premium plan (4 screens).
Need to entertain the kids (or yourself) on a road trip? HBO Max lets you download content for offline viewing, which is perfect if you know you’ll be without Internet access for a while.
Smart TV Compatible:
Thanks to a recent update, you can now add HBO Max to your Roku or another smart TV device.
Disadvantages of HBO Max
Although HBO Max has registered impressive growth in its first year, it still does not have nearly as many subscribers as Netflix (74.38 million).
Here are a few drawbacks to HBO Max that could make subscribers think twice.
The ad-free tier of HBO Max is an eye-watering $14.99, and this was the only option until very recently. Even the ad-included version is more expensive than Netflix’s basic plan.
The high price tag is enough to put off a lot of viewers who can get similar amounts of content elsewhere. The streaming platform doesn’t even offer a free trial anymore for viewers to see if they like it or not.
Limited Geographic Availability:
For now, HBO Max is only available in the United States and Canada, although it is planning to expand to select European and Asian countries by the end of this year. This cuts out a lot of willing potential subscribers.
Lack of Sports:
Although Warner Brothers’ media properties include channels that boast impressive live sports offerings, that hasn’t translated to HBO Max yet. However, the company is planning to add NHL and some baseball games, although details have not been released yet.
What Are Some Popular Shows on HBO Max?
One of the biggest draws of HBO Max is the quality of its content. It has original shows such as Raised by Wolves, Friends: The Reunion, and Genera+ion. It also has popular TV shows from HBO and other Warner Brothers channels such as Game of Thrones and Gossip Girl.
HBO Max is not limited to American content. It has popular BBC shows including Doctor Who and Luther as well as exclusive rights to all movies from the Japanese animation powerhouse Studio Ghibli.
Is HBO Max the Same as HBO?
HBO Max is a streaming platform while HBO is a TV channel that also has its own streaming platform. However, HBO Max offers far more content than standard HBO due to its relationship with Warner Brothers. HBO subscribers can usually watch HBO Max without paying for an extra subscription.
Do I Get HBO Max If I Have HBO Go?
HBO Go was the old streaming platform for HBO content. Since the creation of HBO Max, Warner Brothers has been quietly phasing out HBO Go and officially discontinued it last year. If you were already paying for HBO or HBO Go, you can usually get HBO Max for the same price as your regular subscription.
Is HBO Max Like Netflix?
HBO Max is like Netflix in that both are streaming platforms that let you watch movies and TV shows any time, anywhere.
However, HBO Max has different content (and some would even say better options for movies and TV shows). HBO Max also lets you have more streams with the basic plan.
Is HBO Max Free with Amazon Prime?
As of this year, you can no longer watch HBO Max with Amazon Prime. If you have a Prime subscription, you have the option to subscribe to the HBO Prime Video Channel for a small extra fee. However, this video channel offers less content than the full HBO Max app.
HBO Max: Worth it or Not?
HBO Max has set critics and subscribers abuzz with its extensive content, featuring some of the best prestige television from this century and brand-new movies from Warner Brothers studio.
For many subscribers, it’s worth overcoming the platform’s growing pains and high price tag compared to other streaming services.
With plans to expand into live sports and ever-increasing new content, including the long-awaited Gossip Girl reboot, HBO Max is on its way up.