There are more and more options out there for people who want to cut the cord and enjoy all the advantages of online, on-demand streaming. HBO Max and Shudder are two great examples of popular streaming platforms, but how do they compare? And which is best between HBO Max vs Shudder?
In this guide, we’ll answer those questions. We’ll look at HBO Max vs Shudder in the most important categories, such as pricing, original content, device compatibility and simultaneous streams. By the end, you’ll have a clear view of what each streaming platform offers and which one is right for you.
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HBO Max began in 2020 and has quickly grown into one of the most popular online streaming platforms of all. It’s owned by WarnerMedia and provides a wide range of Warner Bros. and HBO content, in addition to shows and films from other networks and studios. It’s also famous for offering new WB movies on-demand just weeks after their cinematic releases.
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Shudder is a streaming service focused on horror, thriller and sci-fi content. It began in 2015 and it’s owned by AMC Networks. This platform is aimed at a niche audience, with a total focus on scary and spooky content. It has a smaller library than most other streaming services but is also a lot cheaper than many of its competitors. You can read our Shudder review to find out more.
Many people are trying to find the right streaming services to fit their budget. If you’re looking for platforms that can offer great value for money, both HBO Max and Shudder may interest you. Here’s how they compare.
- HBO Max – New subscribers to HBO Max can choose between two main plans: one with ads and one without ads. The ad-supported plan costs $10 per month, or you can save a little by paying $100 per year. Meanwhile, the ad-free plan is priced at $15 per month or $150 a year.
- Shudder – Shudder, meanwhile, has just one plan available. It costs $5.99 per month, or you can pay annually at a cost of $56.99, which works out at just $4.75 a month. There are no ads on Shudder for any subscribers.
In terms of pricing, Shudder is the best option of the two. It’s significantly cheaper to sign up for Shudder than it is for HBO Max. Plus, with Shudder, you don’t need to worry about ads. However, it’s important to look at other factors, like content, to figure out which service gives you the best value for money.
- HBO Max – On HBO Max, some of the top-rated original shows include The Flight Attendant, Peacemaker, Gossip Girl, and Doom Patrol. The service also has its own exclusive original films, like An American Pickle, Locked Down, Zack Snyder’s Justice League and Moonshot.
- Shudder – On Shudder, horror fans can enjoy a range of original spooky shows and creepy series. Some of the most popular original shows include the anthology Creepshow, the variety show The Last Drive-in with Joe Bob Briggs and the slasher horror Slasher. There are also dozens of original horror movies, too.
When it comes to original content, both of these platforms have a lot to offer. HBO Max obviously has more variety, offering comedy, drama, animation, and other shows. Shudder, meanwhile, is more focused on horror content and will appeal to horror fans.
In addition to exclusives and original, HBO Max and Shudder both have their own on-demand libraries of licensed shows and films. On HBO Max, for example, you can find shows like The Big Bang Theory, Friends, The West Wing and It’s a Sin. The service also has classic HBO shows from the past like The Sopranos and The Wire.
On Shudder, subscribers can enjoy a plethora of horror content. You can watch shows like A Discovery of Witches, Channel Zero, and The Walking Dead: World Beyond. The service is also known for its massive movie library. This includes cult horror classics such as The Fog, Evil Dead 2, Hellraiser and Candyman, in addition to more modern movies like Host and V/H/S/94.
The best choice for you will depend on your tastes. If you’re a big horror fan, the movies and shows on Shudder could be perfect for you. But if you prefer to have a wide range of genres to choose from, HBO Max is the better choice.
- Living room devices – Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Roku
- Mobile devices – Android and iOS phones and tablets
- Browsers – All major internet browsers
- Video game consoles – Xbox and PlayStation
The one area in which the pair differ is in terms of smart TVs. At the moment, Shudder is only available on certain Samsung models of smart TVs. HBO Max, meanwhile, runs on select Sony, Samsung, LG, and other brands.
Video quality is one area in which HBO Max and Shudder have some differences. The top-end streaming services are aiming to provide more and more 4K UHD content for their users, but some services, like Shudder, are lagging behind in this area.
On Shudder, most content is streamed in 720p or 1080p. There is no 4K content currently available on the platform. Not only that, but some of the older shows and movies are only available in 480p, which is quite a low resolution.
On HBO Max, meanwhile, you can see almost everything in full HD 1080p. The service also offers all of the new WB movies like The Batman in 4K. So, in terms of quality and resolution, HBO Max has the edge.
Many of the best streaming services also offer simultaneous streaming. This means that multiple users can watch content on different devices at the same time, without having to each pay for their own individual accounts.
HBO Max offers this feature. It lets up to three devices watch simultaneously. So you can share the account with other members of the household and all watch different things at the same time. This is available for as low as $10 per month, with ads.
Unfortunately, Shudder does not currently offer any kind of simultaneous streaming. You’re only able to watch on one device at a time. This means that you can’t share the account around.
Both HBO Max and Shudder have simple, modern interfaces. They were both designed to be easy to use, even for beginners, and most users have no problems with either. With that said, some users and reviewers have criticized Shudder’s interface for being a little clunky and having some categories that seem vague or irrelevant.
Overall, HBO Max and Shudder both have a lot to offer. In terms of which is the best and most complete streaming platform, the answer is probably HBO Max. It offers a wider range of content, has better video quality, and offers simultaneous streaming too. It also has the big advantage of offering brand new cinematic releases on-demand almost instantly.
Shudder has some work to do to catch up with a service like HBO Max. However, Shudder was not created to be a HBO Max or Netflix rival. It caters to a specific crowd of horror fans and aims to please those who love spooky content, and it does a great job of this. So, if you love horror and want a budget-friendly way to enjoy scary movies, Shudder will appeal to you.