WithNetflixlost purchased content every month and competitors likepeacockAndOutstanding+Struggling to really get a foothold, the streaming wars have all eyes on the underdogs. In other words, Disney+ vs. HBO Max. Sure,HalloAndAmazon Prime-Videohave held their own for years, but theDisney+vsHBO MaxRivalry presents two of the most exciting (and balanced)Streaming Servicesin the game head to head. So which one is really the best? Read on to find out.
Disney+ vs. HBO Max: side-by-side comparison:
|Publication date||12. November 2019||27. May 2020|
|price per month||$7.99 (ad-supported)|
|Available bundles||Disney Bundle Duo (Disney+ and Hulu with Ads for $9.99/month)|
Disney Bundle Trio (Duo with Ads plus ESPN+ for $12.99/month)
|number of titles||750+ Movies, 200+ TV Shows (with 80+ Disney+ Original Movies and TV Shows)||2,000+ Movies, 600+ TV Shows (with 150+ HBO Max original movies and TV shows)|
|Most awarded title(s).||There Mandalorians(2019 – ),WandaVision(2021 – 2021)||Chop(2021 - ),Station elf(2021 – 2022)|
|number of subscribers||About 165 million||About 76.8 million|
|Annual Revenue||$5.2 billion (2021)||$7.7 billion (2021)|
|Upcoming Projects||Neuwar of starsAndWunderprojects; newGoose fleshAndPercy JacksonTV adaptations||to yesterdayAndThere Batmanspinoff series; new projects from DC Films; various new original films|
Disney+ vs HBO Max: key differences
With these basic specs laid out side by side, let's dive deeper into the main differences between Disney+ and HBO Max. You'll see the type of titles in their respective libraries, the overall quality of their original movies and series, and the monthly cost of each service.
As the streaming arms of their respective studios, the debate between Disney+ and HBO Max ultimately boils down to the overall choices of theWalt Disney Companyor Warner Bros. Discovery. Overall, the Disney+ library has movies and TV shows from 20th Century Fox, Walt Disney Pictures, Marvel Studios, LucasFilm,Pixar, National Geographic and more. Some famous titles are the Marvel Cinematic Universe,war of stars,Indiana Jones,toy story,Autos,Pirates of the Caribbean, etc.
HBO Max, on the other hand, has a much broader pool to draw from. With Warner Bros. Discovery at the helm, HBO Max is home to movies and TV shows from the DC Extended Universe, Warner Bros., New Line Cinema, Turner Classic Movies, Studio Ghibli, Sesame Workshop, Cartoon Network and more (not to mention HBO itself) . Their most successful titles includeHarry Potter, Dc comics,Game of Thrones, and more. They also have exclusive content deals with J.J. Abrams, Issa Rae, Matt Reeves, Ava DuVernay, the Duplass Brothers, George R.R. Martin and more.
Quality of the Original Content
Owning the rights to a particular set of films is one thing and using them wisely is another. The Disney+ original content library is the perfect example of this. While they own the rights to many hits, they keep the best stuff for the theaters and reserve more mediocre works for Disney+. For example, some Marvel shows, such asWandaVisionorLokiwere hits whileShe-HulkAndMond Ritternot have.
In comparison, HBO Max has had more success with its original films and TV shows. One reason is that they've been much more selective since Discovery's acquisition. Still, the original shows Hacks, The Other Two, Peacemaker,Station elfand moviesTo theAndZack Snyders Justice Leaguewere big hits for Warner Bros. DiscoveryStromer.
price per month
Neither Disney+ nor HBO Max are the cheapest streaming services around. There's just no doubt about it. However, neither is one of the most expensive in the game. Disney+ is particularly at an advantage for the number of packages it offers potential subscribers. Conversely, HBO Max has a serious downside because it offers very few bundles. The best way is to get a special offer from a mobile operator or as an add-on viaHalloorAmazon Prime-Video.
Disney+ is available with ads for $7.99 per month. You can pay $10.99 per month to get rid of ads. In addition, Disney+ offers some bundles. The Disney Bundle Duo gives you Disney+ and Hulu with ads for $9.99 per month. You can also opt for the Disney Bundle Trio and get those two plus ESPN+ for $12.99 a month. HBO Max, on the other hand, offers potential subscribers far fewer options. You really only have two choices. HBO Max with ads is $9.99 per month. Removing ads will cost you $14.99 per month for the service.
5 important facts about streaming services in 2023
- Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav says he plans to merge HBO Max with Discovery+ into a unified service in spring 2023. Rumor has it that the service will be called "Max".
- With over two billion active users, YouTube is the world's leading streaming service. Still, Netflix makes far more money than YouTube, with far fewer viewers, since it's a paid service and the other isn't.
- Financial analysts estimate that streaming services spent more than $50 billion on original content in 2022 alone. Undoubtedly, that number will grow even larger in 2023 and beyond.
- The average American spends $47 on streaming services every month. As more streaming services emerge, this number will increase.
- While the major streaming competitors are fewer than a dozen, there are over 200 streaming services available.
The Story of Disney+
The Disney+ vs. HBO Max debate is interesting because the two streaming services come straight out of a film and television production studio, unlike Netflix or Hulu. Therefore, there is a much greater opportunity for the respective streamers to further improve the cinema offerings of both studios (and vice versa). As a nearly 100-year-old studio, Disney understands the importance of cross-platform offerings. They've even used similar tactics on ABC and Disney Channel for decades.
Disney+ launched in 2019, a compelling end result that was the result of four years of hard work. Additionally, it came at the end of a long series of strategic moves that gave Disney control of 20th Century Fox, LucasFilm, and several other key properties that helped the company grow (both in terms of physical scale and some intellectual property rights) to grow throughout the 2010s. In other words, the debut of Disney+ allowed the streamer-turned-studio to jump into the streaming wars with a running start.
Historically, Disney titles have been licensed and distributed across various platforms. You might find a new Marvel show on Netflix or Hulu while a new Disney movie would land on Starz. It was a disaster. In developing Disney+, the studio worked hard to reclaim all of those movies and TV shows. (Not to mention the restoration and re-release of some titles from the infamous Disney Vault.) Disney+ was the culmination of billions of dollars spent developing content leading up to launch. Of course, given the Disney name, the service was an instant hit.
How HBO Max competes
Unlike Disney+, HBO Max had something of a dry run in the Streaming Wars before launching its bigger and better service a few years ago. HBO launched in 2010 and was discontinued with the launch of HBO Max in 2020. HBO entered the streaming sphere for the first time with HBO Now. Essentially aVOD-StreamingAs a hub for HBO subscribers, it formed much of the foundation that HBO Max would eventually benefit from. Combining the libraries of HBO, Warner Bros., Discovery, Cartoon Network, Turner Classic Movies, Adult Swim, and more, HBO Max is a massive streaming service like no other.
HBO Max had been in the works since 2018, years before parent company Warner Bros. would notoriously merge with Discovery. Since being acquired by Discovery in 2022, HBO Max has undergone numerous controversial changes. HBO Max was largely credited with pioneering the streaming wars after its launch to the Discovery merger. However, his reputation has rocked a bit in the months since. For one, Discovery continues to controversially pull HBO Max original movies and TV shows from the service and place them on VOD sites for greater profit.
The reasoning is that HBO Max, and to a greater extent its parent company Discovery, can write off the underperforming content as business losses, effectively softening the blow of the outages. This worries many as it harms fans, showrunners, filmmakers and talent alike. Another concern for HBO Max? The upcoming merger with Discovery+ is scheduled to take place in the first half of 2023. The Disney+ vs. HBO Max debate used to lean heavily towards the latter, but with all this uncertainty, the true winner is now much less obvious.
Disney+ vs HBO Max: Pros and Cons
|Disney+ benefits||Disadvantages of Disney+|
|The only place to find exclusive Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar and Disney streaming content||Aside from family-friendly content, there's not much for adults to enjoy|
|Many offers for children and families||The overall quality of some Disney+ content is pretty questionable|
|A large number of affordable bundles||Just a small selection of older films|
|Cheaper than HBO Max, Netflix and Prime Video||Fewer movies or shows from 20th Century Fox or Searchlight Pictures|
|Benefits of HBO Max||Cons of HBO Max|
|Huge streaming library spanning all Warner Bros. Discovery products||More expensive than Disney+|
|Will soon merge with Discovery+, making the service even bigger and better||Warner Bros. Discovery CEO is putting the service's reputation on the line|
|Streaming home for new HBO shows and movies||Not many Max Originals|
|Quality content for HBO and HBO Max alike||There are many titles available, which can make it difficult to choose|
Disney+ vs HBO Max: Which is Better?
So when all is said and done, is there a clear winner between Disney+ and HBO Max? The answer is a resounding yes. Whether it's the size of the streaming library, the overall quality of the original content, or the number of studios and production companies affiliated with the service, HBO Max wins in almost every area. Sure, Disney+ is cheaper and has more for kids and families, but HBO Max also has plenty of family-friendly content. The difference? It has just as much for adults. It's a win for every age group, not just the younger ones. HBO Max wins this match.
Disney+ vs HBO Max: Which is Better for You? FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Will HBO Max and Discovery+ merge?
According to Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, HBO Max and Discovery+ are planned to merge in spring 2023. This is a full quarter ahead of the original summer 2023 plan. The possible name remains unknown, but rumors have it that it could be "Max".
Does Disney+ have content from the Disney Vault?
Disney+ contains many titles from the so-called "Disney Vault". In fact, they once advertised the service as "The Disney Vault Unlocked." However, titles come and go from service fairly frequently, so it's not like the Disney Vault is gone forever.
Why is HBO Max so expensive?
At $14.99 per month for an ad-free streaming experience, HBO Max is certainly more expensive than many other competing streamers. The high price, however, represents the sheer breadth and quality of the content itself. Once you see how many movies and TV shows are available on the service, the price definitely makes a lot of sense.
Can you get a free trial of HBO Max?
At this time, HBO Max does not offer free trials.
How long is a Disney+ free trial valid?
While there was a one-week free trial for new Disney+ subscribers in 2019 and 2020, the offer has since been withdrawn. It has not reappeared since 2020.