Whether you’re a general binge-watcher or a devout Game of Thrones follower, there is a streaming service for everyone. Gone are the days when Netflix was the only great streaming option. HBO Max is quickly rising in the ranks due to its competitive range of content. HBO Max and Netflix go head-to-head, each with their own cult content and each with their own unique plans to offer.
When it comes to choosing between HBO Max and Netflix, it’s a close toss-up. Both streaming services have plenty of their own original series and films. Because each streaming service has its own unique content, your choice really depends on what you like to watch. There are other factors, like price and streaming capabilities, to consider when deciding between HBO Max and Netflix. Here’s a guide to help you make an informed decision about which streaming service to use.
HBO Max vs Netflix Overview
|Base Price||$10.00-$18.00 per month||$8.99-$15.99 per month|
|Free Trial||Yes (7 days)||Yes (30 days)|
|# of Live Channels||None||None|
Generally speaking, HBO Max and Netflix are different streaming services. While Netflix is the pioneer in streaming, HBO Max is the increasingly popular platform launched by WarnerMedia.
The Netflix app is available on almost all streaming devices:
- Plug and Play: Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, Roku, Facebook Portal, Nvidia Shield
- Smart TVs: Fire TV, Roku TV, Samsung TV, Sony TV, Vizio TV, Panasonic TV, etc.
- Game Consoles: PS3, PS4, PS5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
- Set-top Boxes: Xfinity, Cox, Dish, TiVo, Cable ONE, etc.
- Blu-Ray Players: Samsung, Sony, Toshiba, Philips, Sharp, LG, etc.
- Smartphones & Tablets: Android, Apple, Windows
- Computers: Chrome, Mac, Windows
You can watch HBO Max on a variety of platforms:
- Smart TVs: Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, LG Smart TVs, Roku, Samsung TV
- Computers: Chrome, Mac, Windows
- Game Consoles: PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One
- Mobile & Tablet: Amazon Cire Tablet, Android Phone & Tablet, iPhone & iPad
HBO Max vs Netflix: Plans and Pricing
HBO Max and Netflix both offer their own plans with various pricing options to choose from, depending on your preferences.
HBO Max Plans and Pricing
The good news is there’s only one plan to consider when it comes to HBO Max at $14.99 per month. Additionally, if you don’t feel like committing early HBO Max is available for a 7 day free trial. It comes with HD viewing quality and allows three simultaneous streams — meaning you can watch whatever you want while someone is streaming something else at the same time.
Netflix Plans and Pricing
Netflix, on the other hand, has three different plans, each with slightly different capabilities.
- Basic: Netflix’s basic plan costs $8.99 per month and allows for only one stream at a time. Streaming is available only in standard definition.
- Standard: This is the mid-tier Netflix option that costs $12.99 per month and allows for two streams at a time. Viewing content is possible in high-definition.
- Premium: At $15.99 per month, Netflix’s premium plan allows its users four simultaneous streams and access to HD and 4K content.
HBO Max vs Netflix: Top Titles Compared
|HBO Shows & HBO Originals||Stranger Things|
|Game of Thrones||Breaking Bad|
|Wonder Woman||Black Mirror|
|Big Bang Theory||The Crown|
|The Sopranos||Tiger King|
|Warner Bros. Films|
|Curb Your Enthusiasm|
HBO Max is a close competitor with Netflix in terms of its content due to falling under the WarnerMedia brand. Both streaming services have their own original content as well as the rights to other studios’ series and films.
HBO Max Originals vs. Netflix Originals
HBO Max is quickly catching up to Netflix when it comes to original content. This includes Love Life, starring Anna Kendrick, with a release that corresponded with HBO Max’s launch. The highly anticipated Gossip Girl is another HBO Max Original, as well as Euphoria, which recently added their second season to the streaming service. There are plenty more HBO Max originals on the near horizon.
It’s Netflix’s original content that makes it one of the leading streaming services. In fact, Netflix’s repertoire of original content is of the highest quality in entertainment. Its original TV shows include Stranger Things, Tiger King, and Ozark. Netflix also streams original films — some of which have won Academy Awards — like Roma, The Irishman, and Marriage Story.
HBO Max Non-Original Content vs. Netflix Non-Original Content
When we’re talking about anything outside of original content, HBO Max takes the lead. That’s because HBO Max had a strong start with all of WarnerMedia brands’ content. HBO Max contains all the same content that is on standard HBO and allows you to watch the respective content live as it streams. You can watch every new HBO show — Game of Thrones, Perry Mason, Mortal Kombat, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Westworld, etc.
Original content is Netflix’s expertise. It does, however, contain its own range of network shows and films. Its arsenal of content includes The Dark Knight, NBC’s Hannibal, and Saving Private Ryan. The recent movie, The Lovebirds, is another extremely popular film by Issa Rae and Kumail Nankiani.
Popular HBO Max series and films vs. Netflix series
Both HBO Max and Netflix contain some of the most popular series on TV.
HBO Max has cult content like Friends, the Little Things, and Game of Thrones, and movies like the Joker and anime titles from Studio Ghibli. You can also find some of cinema’s classic films, like Gone With The Wind and Casablanca.
Netflix includes super-hits like Money Heist, Ozark, Tiger King, and Spenser Confidential. All of the latter gained record-breaking household viewership.
Some say HBO content is more for family viewers, while Netflix is for a slightly more mature audience. There can be some overlap in content on the two streaming services, but popular titles like Harry Potter and Game of Thrones are only available on HBO. Likewise, some of Netflix’s non-original content is on other platforms and digital rental services, but you can only find Netflix original series on Netflix.
HBO Max vs Netflix: Features
Both HBO Max and Netflix allow you to download your content to watch it back later. Both streaming services allow mobile downloads.
Due to HBO Max’s only having one plan, you can always run three simultaneous streams. Netflix on the other hand has simultaneous stream allowances that depend on your plan. Depending on whether you want to pay $8.99 per month or $15.99 per month, you will have from one to four simultaneous streams.
Other important features
HBO Max releases its content on an episode-by-episode basis, much like traditional cable TV. Netflix, on the other hand, usually publishes its series in one go. That means Netflix is more conducive to those who prefer to binge-watch.
Both Netflix and HBO Max are commercial-free.
HBO Max vs Netflix: Which service is better overall?
When choosing whether HBO Max or Netflix is the right service for you, we recommend deciding what content you want to watch. It’s also important to take into account the price — a standard Netflix plan is nearly half the price of an HBO Max plan.
Do you want to watch more movies at home? HBO’s access to Warner Bros. content will continue to mimic the cinema experience and give users the best in-home movie options. In fact, HBO Max releases films nearly at or around the time they are due to come out in theaters. The final thing to note is that HBO Max is a US-exclusive streaming service while Netflix’s licensing restrictions depend on geographical region.
At the end of the day, Netflix is the king of content, but HBO Max is working to change that. Whether you’d like to stick with what you know or want to try something new, either service will give you plenty of options to keep you busy.