HBO Max vs Netflix: Pricing, Features, Shows [Comparison]

HBO Max vs Netflix: Pricing, Features, Shows

HBO Max [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Netflix has been the most powerful player in the media streaming business for years. Now it is facing competition from Disney Plus, Apple TV Plus, and a bunch of other players that want a piece of the streaming market. HBO, which already has HBO Go and HBO Now services, is preparing to launch HBO Max next year to compete directly with Netflix. Let’s check out how the two services stack up and whether HBO Max stands a chance against Netflix.

HBO Max vs Netflix: Pricing

HBO Max is set to launch in the spring of 2020. AT&T/WarnerMedia’s streaming service is still some time away. It would bring all of HBO’s programming and Warner Bros’ vast library of content, as well as original shows and movies. The service will offer everything you get with HBO Now and some more. It’s not yet known whether HBO Max would replace HBO Now or the two services would co-exist at different price points.

HBO Now costs $15 per month. The Wall Street Journal has learned from its sources that the upcoming Max service would cost $16 or $17 per month, making it a little more expensive than HBO Now. However, the company is expected to bundle in Cinemax and HBO with the service. WarnerMedia has not officially announced the price.

In contrast, Netflix has three different pricing tiers: Basic, Standard, and Premium. All three plans give you ad-free access to Netflix’s entire catalog of movies, TV shows, and original programming. The Basic plan costs $9 a month and lets you stream content only on a single device at a time. The streaming quality is restricted to 480p.

The $13 per month Standard tier is Netflix’s most popular plan. It allows you to stream content on two devices at the same time in Full HD resolution of 1080p. The Premium plan costs $16 per month. It lets you stream 4K UHD content with Dolby Atmos and HDR on up to four devices simultaneously.

Device support

Netflix is available on almost every device out there including Windows Phone and Nintendo 3DS. You can watch Netflix on iOS, Android, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and other Fire devices. It’s also available on Google’s Chromecast. Users can also access Netflix through the web browser on Windows and Mac computers. It’s not yet available on Nintendo Switch console.

It’s too early to say how many devices HBO Max would support at launch, but we can expect the service to be available on all major platforms such as Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and web browsers. Considering WarnerMedia is positioning it as a competitor to Netflix, the service could also arrive on popular consoles like PlayStation and Xbox One.

Movies, TV shows, originals

HBO Max is said to launch with 10,000 hours of content. Of course, the company will continue to add more content after launch. The upcoming service will also have exclusive streaming rights to all 236 episodes of Friends, for which Netflix was paying Warner Bros. Television $100 million a year. Following the launch of HBO Max, the popular show will no longer be available on Netflix.

It will have streaming rights to all of HBO’s popular movies, TV series, and documentaries such as Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, Westworld, and others. It will also get the prequels to Game of Thrones, which are currently in the works. WarnerMedia has also signed exclusive deals with JJ Abrams, Reese Witherspoon and Greg Berlanti to produce movies for the service.

HBO Max will also be home to new Warner Bros. dramas for The CW starting the fall of 2019, including Katy Keene and Batwoman. The CW shows that have already been licensed to Netflix will stay there for a few years. The service will have content from Warner Bros, CNN, The CW, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, DC Entertainment, TNT, New Line, Rooster Teeth, and more.

Netflix has built a vast library of content over the years through aggressive licensing deals and investments in original programming. However, Netflix is going to lose some of the third-party content to Disney Plus, HBO Max, and NBC Universal’s streaming service.

With the launch of Disney Plus on the horizon, Netflix is going to lose a lot of Disney content including Marvel, Star Wars, and Disney franchises. But that doesn’t mean Netflix won’t have any quality content left on its platform. Far from it.

The US catalog of Netflix consists of more than 47,000 TV episodes and 4,000 movies, according to Ampere Analysis. The company has a number of blockbuster originals in its library that keep viewers glued to its service. They include Orange Is the New Black, Stranger Things, House of Cards, The Haunting of Hill House, Black Mirror, Bojack Horseman, and more. It has also produced movies like Hot Fuzz, Roma, and  Moon.

HBO has always been known for its high-quality programming. Netflix is now fully capable of challenging HBO in both quality and quantity of programming. The company spent a staggering $12 billion on content last year, and plans to spend close to $18 billion in 2020.

Conclusion

HBO Max, when it comes out, could be an attractive proposition for HBO Now subscribers. They will get access to a lot more content by paying just a little extra. It will also be the obvious choice for Friends, Game of Thrones and DC fans. WarnerMedia hasn’t provided a lot of information about its upcoming service. Only time will tell whether HBO Max will be able to convince Netflix users to switch, which seems like a big challenge.



About the Author

Vikas Shukla
Although he has a background in finance and holds an MBA, Vikas Shukla is a technology reporter. He has a strong interest in gadgets, gizmos, and science. He writes regularly on these topics. - He can be contacted by email at vshukla@valuewalk.com