OTT Content Platforms such as Netflix and Prime Video are becoming quite a prominent go-to entertainment choice for users out there. The recent pandemic and Work From Home affairs have promoted these services even further. In fact, we’ve seen various anticipated movies and shows getting a release on OTT platforms instead of on the traditional theaters. Since the OTT services are booming, various network providers and companies started foraying into the competitive space with each of them pushing original content to attract more subscribers.
One such television company is HBO. The company started off as a premium cable network with a promise to offer “blockbusters” at the comfort of home without even renting each one of them. Fast forward to today with OTT companies around, HBO seems to be facing some hard times. Back in May 2020, HBO launched its video-on-demand subscription service dubbed HBO Max. The service is owned by AT&T through WarnerMedia Direct, a subsidiary of WarnerMedia. While HBO Max might sound like a nice idea, the sheer fact that HBO already has two similar services, namely HBO Go and HBO Now makes it extremely complicated.
If you’re planning to join the HBO OTT platform(s), then you might already be confused between these three services. Well, we’re here to save the day with our comparison between the three services from the same provider. Here’s HBO Now vs. HBO Max vs. HBO Go.
In this article, we’re going to talk a bit about each of these three services a bit first. Later, we’ll take a look at the two older services, HBO Now and HBO Go, their similarities and differences. When that will be cleared out of the way, we’ll introduce the star of the show, HBO Max, the thing that created the whole confusion. In the end, we’ll of course compete for all three services and share our two cents on which one you should go with.
Out of all three, HBO Go is the oldest video-on-demand service that was launched way back in 2010. HBO Now, on the other hand, was launched in the year 2015. Coming to the similarities, both the services offer the exact same content. You get all the shows such as Silicon Valley and Westworld on both platforms. You can also use both the services on all your devices such as smartphones, smart TVs, tablets, and laptops.
Talking about the differences, HBO Go is a part of a satellite or cable TV subscription. You might also get the service with Amazon Prime in some regions. You can’t just go ahead and get the subscription on your own. That’s when HBO Now comes to the play. It allows anyone to purchase the subscription meaning it is a standalone streaming service.
Another key difference between both services is the amount you will pay to enjoy it. Since HBO Go is a part of the bundle when you get other services, the effective cost falls somewhere between $5 to $20 per month. On the average side, you can assume the service will cost you around $15. That’s the same price for the HBO Now service making the price somewhat similar.
Last year, HBO added a new OTT or video-on-demand platform dubbed HBO Max to its roster. To stand apart from the already two existing services, HBO Max brings forth some new originals and licensed favorites such as Friends. Of course, you will still be able to enjoy all the content from the previous two services namely HBO Go and HBO Now. With licensed favorites, we mean movies and shows that are separate from the HBO channel. To top things off, HBO Max also features content from WarnerBros and that makes sense since it is the parent organization.
HBO Max received a bunch of attention largely due to the fact that it was bringing a much-awaited Friends Reunion to the catalog. Sadly, the show got delayed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 outbreak across the globe. When it comes to pricing and availability, HBO Max is up for grabs as a standalone service for $15, making the price similar to the other two services. Furthermore, you can also get the service as a part of AT&T internet, wireless, and TV plans. HBO Max might also come with your HBO channel.
Just like the other two services, HBO Max can be accessed on multiple platforms such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, smart TVs, and more.
If you’re wondering whether your device will support any of the three content streaming services, then this section is curated for you.
Below is the list of devices that both HBO Go and HBO Now services supports:
Below is the list of devices that the HBO Max streaming service supports:
It is worth noting that earlier HBO Max was unavailable on Amazon Fire TV and Roku devices. The users of these devices would have to stick with HBO Now (also HBO) service. Well, HBO has now added support for these devices meaning you can now enjoy the service on both Fire TV and Roku.
If you’re wondering which movies and shows you will be able to enjoy on these services, then we got that covered for you as well. For the sake of simplicity, we will talk about HBO Go and HBO Now as simply HBO Now since both the services offer the exact same catalog. With that said, let’s take a look at movies and shows that you will be able to enjoy.
Both the services offer the same HBO content such as Game of Thrones, Last Week Tonight, Euphoria, and Watchmen. As mentioned earlier, HBO Now contains all the HBO original as well as licensed movies. HBO Max, on the other hand, contains HBO original, licensed movies, WarnerMedia movies and shows, and Friends.
Unlike HBO Now, HBO Max has a much extensive catalog of movies and shows and it makes sense considering it’s the company’s latest and best offering. With HBO Max, you’ll be able to enjoy content such as Love Life, Rick and Morty, Friends, the entire Harry Potter series, Studio Ghibli, Cartoon Network, CNN, Crunchyroll, and many more.
Here are some of the other shows that you will find on HBO Max:
With all these confusions among the potential users, HBO decided to address all of them once and for all. Well, HBO has now discontinued and it no longer works on most devices out there. HBO Now, on the other hand, is now rebranded simply to HBO. While HBO Go no longer is in question, the existence of two services still doesn’t make sense.
Who would plan to buy HBO when at the same price, one can get their hands on HBO Max that offers a much more extensive library. It seems like HBO doesn’t want to leave behind its original content streaming service while it still wants to compete with the likes of Netflix, Disney+, and Prime Video. It is worth noting that the majority of HBO Now users also have free access to the HBO Max. It appears to be a part of the promotional offer when the latter was witnessing its official launch.
With that said, if you own an HBO subscription already, then you might be able to get your hands on the newer HBO Max subscription at no additional cost. For that, you might want to check over at HBO’s official website.
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After reading this article, you might have now got some idea about all the three HBO video-on-demand services. In summary, HBO Now and HBO Go are the good old streaming services from the company. Both the services are essentially the same, offering the same library, costing around the same but different in terms of how you can get it. It is worth noting that HBO is planning to ditch behind the older HBO Go service. So, if you do not own the service, then of course there’s no need to get it.
HBO Now, on the other hand, is a standalone service allowing users to subscribe to it. With HBO Go going out of the way, we are now left with two options namely HBO Now and HBO Max. Of course, out of these two, HBO Max makes more sense because of extra content at the same price tag.
While HBO Max might seem like a solid addition to your streaming services arsenal, the service is unavailable in most major markets. At the time of writing this, HBO Max is only available in the USA. The company is planning to bring the service to 39 territories in the month of June. These markets include Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Costa Rica, and many more. Later on this year, the company is expected to upgrade its existing HBO services in Europe to the latest HBO Max.
Even if HBO Max is not available in your region, that doesn’t mean you will not be able to consume all those exclusive contents. There is a good chance that some other OTT platforms in your region are offering those movies and shows. While HBO Max seems like a solid contender, it still has a long way to go to compete with the likes of Netflix. Hopefully, HBO will not mess things up with its new OTT content streaming service.
After reading this article, we hope that you are able to make the right decision between these three streaming services. Furthermore, we hope that you now have a solid idea of what to expect from each one of them and how they are similar and different from each other.