Launched on 27 May 2020, HBO Max is a notable new entrant to the crowded SVoD market in the US, serving as the major direct-to-consumer VoD service for Warner Bros content.
HBO Max builds upon the existing market share of HBO Now and HBO Go, each of which has been making HBO content available via VoD, and its content library includes most HBO Go content as well as additional Warner and Turner productions such as DC Comics, CNN and Cartoon Network. While HBO Go has around 1,900 movies and TV seasons, HBO Max curates more than 2,600 titles, including twice as many TV seasons as HBO Go.
With a subscription fee of $14.99 per month, HBO Max is one of the most expensive SVoD services in the US. As a newly launched, premium-priced service in an already heavily populated market, it is crucial that HBO Max has enough high-value, popular content to justify its cost to potential new subscribers.
There are two main ways to evaluate the quality of HBO Max’s titles – critical acclaim and popularity. Ampere defines a premium title as one with an Ampere Critical Rating score of over 80, which represents titles that have achieved high levels of widespread critical acclaim across a number of sources. For the launch catalogue of HBO Max, over 12% of its content (about 330 titles), qualifies as premium, including not only the high-quality HBO shows but also highly rated classic movies such as The Lord of the Rings and Pulp Fiction. For TV seasons only, over 20% on HBO Max are premium titles.
In addition to the high levels of critical acclaim, the content on HBO Max also has a lot of very popular titles. If we look at the top 1,000 movies and 1,000 TV Shows on IMDb for July 2020, just under 20% of HBO Max’s content is present, placing HBO Max is just behind Hulu. Most of its popular content is of HBO production, Warner classics, as well as acquired BBC TV shows. Overall, HBO Max has over 600 unique titles that are either popular or premium – placing it above the likes of premium platforms including Disney+ and Showtime Anytime.
Source: Amphere Analysis