Today, AT&T’s Warner Media officially announced their streaming service, HBO Max. This is just the latest streaming service to be unveiled that will be joining Disney+ in an effort to get some of Netflix’s audience. Before we dig in to how the two services compare, let’s take a quick snapshot of what we know.

Disney+

HBO Max

Parent Company

The Walt Disney Company

AT&T

Brands Featured

Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic

Warner Bros, TBS, CNN, Boomerang, Cartoon Network, HBO, DC, New Line, TruTV, TNT, Adult Swim

Launch

November 12, 2019

Spring 2020

Hours of Content at Launch

Exp, 5,000 Hours

10,000 Hours

Price

$6.99 per month

Exp. Over $14.99 per month

Marquee Off-Network Series

The Simpsons

Friends

Marquee Original Series

The Mandalorian, WandaVision, Monsters at Work

Dune: The Sisterhood, Tokyo Vice, The Flight Attendant

Before we get too far into this, it is important to note the different strategies Disney and AT&T are taking. Disney is taking a split level strategy with Disney+ for branded entertainment content and Hulu for non-branded prestige movies and series. AT&T is putting everything in one bucket with DC and Cartoon Network’s brands combined with the prestige of HBO.

While Disney has said that consumers will be able to bundle Disney+ and Hulu for a discount, if you were to combine the Disney+ price of $6.99 with Hulu’s no-commercials price of $11.99, it would be more than HBO’s current price of $14.99. That being said, we do not know exactly how much HBO Max will cost or what Disney’s bundle discount will be.

If you look at HBO Max, it appears they have the edge in terms of amount of content when compared to Disney+. However, if you add Hulu, Disney’s bundle would far eclipse HBO Max in the volume of content available.

Of course there is a difference between quantity and quality. Or more importantly, a difference between volume and amount of shows people actually want to watch. Disney+ is relying on their strong brands to generate interest. HBO Max has many brands, but there is no question Disney’s are stronger. That being said, HBO has a lot of prestige and they are hoping their original series and films can generate interest through word-of-mouth and awards.

Both Disney+ and HBO Max are getting into Netflix’s turf by taking a quality over quantity approach. While there are many gems on Netflix, the perception is that there is a lot of clutter on the service. In the end, these services will rely on having something people will sign-up for. If you want to see what’s going on in the Marvel Cinematic Universe or watch The Mandalorian, you need Disney+. If you want to stream Friends and Game of Thrones, you need HBO Max. And while Netflix has virtually no brands, many of their series have gained a following.

It has been widely reported that library content from other studios such as Friends and The Office is the most watched series on Netflix. With each major studio starting their own service, Netflix will need more of its original content to breakthrough. Disney+ and HBO Max are trying to combine their libraries with new original content. In the end, the consumer will decide if Disney+ is worth $6.99 and if HBO Max is worth over $15. Personally, as a Disney fan, there isn’t much of a decision to be made.

 

FanBoy is a Disney dweeb who has worked at Disneyland and Walt Disney World

 

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