Before streaming services were a thing, the world of television was dominated by cable network companies. Each of them held exclusive rights to certain shows or movies, and if you only had access to one of them in your area, you were stuck with it. Switching between them was a nuisance.
In 2007, Netflix transitioned from a DVD rental business to a streaming service, promising to make all shows accessible in one place, ad-free. Fast forward to today, and you’ll see how bold that statement was.
Today we’ll compare Netflix vs. HBO Max, as both offer a wide variety of TV shows and blockbuster movies. Still, each has its strengths and weaknesses, so it's important to figure out which one is best for you.
Quick Overview: HBO Max vs. Netflix
HBO Max is the latest service on the block. It includes all of HBO’s classic series, Max originals, a selection of Warner Bros. movies, and content from other networks like Discovery Channel and Cartoon Network. Still pretty new, HBO Max has a library that isn’t as big as Netflix’s just yet. However, it’s quickly building up its catalog, and the quality of its content is already top-notch.
Netflix has been around longer than HBO Max, and it shows in the content. It has impressive streaming libraries of movies and TV shows, including many original series you can’t find anywhere else. Both companies continue to produce new content at an amazing rate, so there’s always something new to watch.
With a great selection of kids’ programming, Netflix is a great choice for families. The downside is that its content quality can be a little inconsistent. You’ll find some gems, but you’ll also come across many duds.
Netflix or HBO Max: Who Has a Better Content Library?
This is a tough one. It’s like comparing two live streaming giants, YouTube and Twitch. It may look the same at first glance, but there are noticeable differences in every aspect, including video quality.
Netflix doesn’t need an introduction. It was the first successful streaming company and is still the biggest in the world. This may now come as a bit of a shock to some of you. HBO is older than Netflix, but its recent entry into the streaming market is still fresh, so its content library isn’t as extensive as Netflix’s yet.
Even though HBO Max has less content than Netflix, it still provides excellent entertainment for children and adults alike. Having access to content from Discovery Channel, anime series and movies from Crunchyroll, and all the HBO-acclaimed hits gives them an advantage when it comes to variety.
Furthermore, it creates its own original programs, just like Netflix. Aside from original shows, the HBO Max repertoire includes TV shows from DC, TNT, TBS, CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, and Looney Tunes.
When you compare Netflix vs. HBO Max, you can see a clear difference in libraries. Whereas the former has over 3,600 movies and 1,800 TV shows available, the latter contains over 2,000 films and over 580 TV series.
As far as movies are concerned, Netflix has some big names, such as The Shawshank Redemption, The Godfather, Forrest Gump, and Scarface. On the other hand, you can find classics like Casablanca and Citizen Kane on HBO Max.
In terms of TV shows, Netflix has The Office, Parks and Recreation, Stranger Things, and Mindhunter. Meanwhile, HBO Max has Friends, The Big Bang Theory, Doctor Who, and Rick and Morty.
All in all, it’s hard to say which service has a better content library. If you’re looking for quantity, then Netflix is the way to go. However, if you’d rather opt for quality, then HBO Max is the preferred choice.
What About Original Content?
Both Netflix and HBO Max produce original content, but the latter has a clear advantage here. After all, it’s been in the entertainment industry longer than Netflix, and has access to all of HBO’s excellent original shows.
You probably still remember a TV show about a medieval political drama that involves dragons and a power struggle. Of course, we're referring to Game of Thrones, one of the most popular HBO series ever produced, but it's not the only one. You can also find shows like The Flight Attendant, Our Flag Means Death, Rome, Westworld, and more.
Netflix produces a lot of original content, but it’s not always of the same caliber as what you’ll find on HBO Max. It does have some fantastic shows, such as Squid Game, though. According to Netflix's shareholder letter, the show generated 1.65 billion hours of viewing in the first few weeks following its premiere.
Still, for every good show, there are a couple of flops. So, if you’re looking for high-quality original content, HBO Max is just right for you.
Netflix vs. HBO Max Subscription
Just like there is a difference in content, there is also a difference in price that should be considered when choosing between these two competitors.
Netflix plans start at $9.99 per month for the Basic plan, which gives you access to standard definition content on one device. If you want HD content and the ability to watch it on two devices simultaneously, you’ll need to upgrade to the Standard plan, which costs $15.49 a month. Lastly, the Premium plan gives you 4K content and allows you to watch simultaneous streams on four devices for a monthly price of $19.99.
HBO Max is somewhat less expensive. It has an ad-free plan and one with advertisements. The latter costs the same as Netflix's basic account - $9.99 per month - but you can save 16% by purchasing an annual membership for $99.99. It gives you access to all the shows in HD and the ability to watch them on three devices at the same time.
The ad-free service costs $15.99 per month or $149.99 per year and includes 4K Ultra HD access. Like the previous plan, it provides access to three different devices.
Netflix's competition offers favorable prices, but none of them can match the amount and quality of content it has. Ultimately, if you’re looking to save some money, HBO Max is a better choice.
Can You Watch HBO Shows on Netflix?
No, you cannot watch HBO shows on Netflix. As we mentioned, these two companies are competitors, so they don’t share any content. That’s why you’ll need to be among HBO Max subscribers if you want to watch Game of Thrones or Westworld. The same holds true for Hulu vs. HBO Max, or any other streaming platforms for that matter.
Pros and Cons of HBO Max
This service boasts a great collection of quality streaming material that includes not just HBO episodes and movies but also an impressive variety of Warner movies and other popular programs. However, when comparing Netflix vs. HBO Max, we noticed a substantial difference in content volume.
It serves fewer regions than Netflix, so if you travel a lot, you might be unable to find your favorite show or movie on HBO Max.
Pros and Cons of Netflix
There are many reasons to love Netflix. For starters, its service gives you access to an extensive movie catalog and TV show selection. You can watch it anywhere, anytime, on any internet-connected device.
But there are also some drawbacks to consider. For example, Netflix doesn’t offer the latest movies or TV shows as they air. You have to wait until they’re added to the Netflix library, which can take months.
Netflix intends to apply stricter rules for password-sharing by imposing additional charges if it discovers you are sharing your password outside of your household. The system is presently being tested in Costa Rica, Chile, and Peru, but it is failing since users are canceling Netflix subscriptions rather than paying the additional charge.
Further revenue loss may cause a difficult financial situation to deteriorate or require the company to raise prices again, despite having done so recently.
Which Is Better, Netflix or HBO Max?
If you’re looking for a wide variety of content, then a Netflix subscription is just what you need. However, if you’d like to save some money, then HBO Max might be a better option for you.
Statistics show that 62% of adults in the US are currently subscribed to one or more video streaming services. Does that mean you have to stick to the service you picked? No! You don’t owe them any loyalty, and there are no streaming wars going on.
If there is a show that you enjoy watching on another service, feel free to jump ship until you’ve binge-watched all the seasons that are available. You will have the whole month to see what else the streaming service offers and whether you want to keep paying. It all boils down to what you want to see and how much you want to spend.
Frequently Asked Questions
Since the latest Netflix price increase, having HBO Max or Netflix boils down to whatever content you prefer to watch. If you enjoy a show on HBO Max, you won't be able to watch it anywhere else. Therefore, it's ultimately worth paying for.
There are no other streaming services that have as much material as Netflix offers, but it all depends on whether the pricing and quality are to your liking. You can check out our Netflix vs. HBO Max review for more details. There are also other services you can take into consideration, like Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.
HBO Max has access to all Warner Bros. movies, which you can’t watch anywhere else.
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A true tech and gaming savant, Ivan has been fascinated by the digital world since the early days of gaming on antiques such as the ZX Spectrum and Commodore’s beloved Amiga. Whether you’re interested in the latest PC and console gaming news, antivirus software, or smartphone reviews, or simply want to learn about the newest geeky gadgets around, we at KT have you covered, and Ivan’s likely the one we’ll ask.