Now that movie theaters are unavailable, subscribing to streaming services, such as Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu, have been a necessity for everyone stuck at home.
HBO Max is a new subscription video on demand that launched on May 27th with 12.6 million activated subscribers as of early December 2020, with Friends being the number 1 streamed show after the sit-com left Netflix in early January.
The streaming service saw a dramatic increase in newly activated users from a single franchise movie alone. “Wonder Woman 1984” brought 17.2 million new users to the streaming platform. By January 27th 2021, HBO Max had a striking 41.5 million subscribers. Although many viewers weren’t fond of the movie, some have stayed because of the wide selection of shows and movies HBO has to offer. Some also stayed after discovering WarnerBros’ entire 2021 line-up would be released on its HBO Max streaming service.
However, many loyal subscribers of other streaming services wouldn’t want to betray them in place of HBO Max. $12.99 a month for the Disney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN+ bundle and Netflix for $11 per month instead of $15 on HBO Max sounds pretty reasonable for someone who’s been dedicated to Netflix for years.
Angel Chavez, a computer networking student at Thomas Edison High School and prospective business major, shared his opinion as a passionate viewer and critic of movies. “I would rather be provided with a vast library of movies than with limited categories of movies that I can wait for” he said.
Amazon Fire TV and Roku TV have made a distribution deal with HBO Max leading to more people having access to the app. Though HBO Max has been doing well now, it might have just been the unique year due to the pandemic to raise it’s popularity. A Netflix subscriber for 10 years, Luis Pena, didn’t have much to say as he believes older streaming services are better than the new ones. “I think HBO will last long since most movie theaters are going through bankruptcy” he said.
This rising popularity could just be a one time increase due to “Wonder Woman 1984” or it could happen every time a movie is released on HBO Max, either way, the streaming service is moving its way up to the top faster than anyone expected.