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HBO Max vs. Peacock, Paramount+, and Hulu: Who Gives Streamers A Better Experience With Ads?

Jeff Kotuby, Jason Gurwin

HBO Max’s ad-supported tier has just joined the fray, meaning they’re the most recent streaming service to provide users access to their library of content for a cheaper price, with the caveat that there will be ads interspersed throughout their viewing experience.

While ad-supported plans have been a great way to save a little of money, is it worth it? We’ve compared the various services, how many ads to expect, and what features you might give up by not choosing the ad-free plans.

HBO Max vs. Peacock, Paramount+, and Hulu At A Glance

Service Price Ads Per Hour Simultaneous Streams 4K Streaming Offline Mode Live Sports
HBO Max $9.99 4 min/hr (none during HBO programming) 3 No No No
Peacock $4.99 (Free for Comcast & Cox Customers) 5 min/hr 3 No No Premier League & WWE
Paramount Plus $5.99 9-10 min/hr 3 No No NFL & Champions League
Hulu $5.99 9-10 min/hr 2 Select shows & movies on certain devices No NHL & ESPN+ Upgrade

Ads Per Hour

While it is the most expensive at $9.99 a month, HBO Max also has the fewest ads at just 4 minutes per hour. On certain content, there will be less than that, for instance HBO originals and movies won’t have any. Certain shows like Friends will only have two short ad-blocks in the middle.

Peacock, which is half the price of HBO Max, and free in many cases, only has five minutes per hour, which is nearly half that of Hulu and Paramount+.

HBO Max

HBO Max is a subscription video streaming service that gives access to the full HBO library, along with exclusive Max Originals, and access to every Warner Bros. film on HBO Max on the same day that it hits theaters.

HBO Max has two tiers, an ad-supported plan for 9,99 US$ and ad-free plan for 14,99 US$. HBO Max without ads also includes features like the ability to download offline and 4K streaming.

Subscribers will have access to hit HBO series like Succession, Mare of Easttown, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and more.

All HBO Max subscribers will get the full libraries of shows like “Friends”, “The Big Bang Theory”, “South Park”, “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”, “The West Wing”, and more.

They also will get Max Originals that aren’t available to HBO channel subscribers, like “The Flight Attendant” (Kaley Cuoco), “Love Life” (Anna Kendrick), as well as reboots to “Sex In The City” and “Gossip Girl.”

Number of Streams

Outside of Hulu which offers two simultaneous streams, HBO Max, Peacock, and Paramount+ each offer three simultaneous streams. Since they all offer user profiles, that means you will be able to share it with the whole family.

4K and Offline Mode

Currently, no ad-supported streaming service offers offline downloads. This feature has been held back for users on HBO Max Ad-Free ($14.99), Peacock Premium Plus ($9.99), Paramount+ No Ads ($9.99), and Hulu No Ads ($11.99).

Hulu is the only streaming service that includes 4K on select content on their ad-supported plan. While it’s only available on select content on HBO Max and Paramount+, that’s only available on their higher priced ad-free plan.

Hulu

Hulu is a video streaming service that gives access to thousands of full seasons of exclusive series, hit movies, kids shows, and Hulu Originals like The Handmaid’s Tale.

It offers the best selection of current TV shows and is cheaper than both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. You will be able to watch most shows from networks like ABC, NBC, Fox, and cable channels like Bravo, USA Network, FXX, FXM, HGTV, and more.

The service has a Limited Commercials plan for 5,99 US$ a month, or you can upgrade to their No Ads plan for 11,99 US$ a month. For 64,99 US$ a month, you can get Hulu Live TV from major cable channels, live locals and regional sports networks.

Content

At $9.99 a month, HBO Max is the priciest of its competition but offers a vast library of WarnerMedia and HBO movies, shows, and HBO originals that you can’t find anywhere else.

This includes “Friends”, “The Big Bang Theory”, “South Park”, “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”, “The West Wing”, and more, as well as fan-favorite HBO shows like “The Sopranos”, “The Wire”, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”, and more. As part of the ad-supported plan, you won’t get access to same day theatrical releases.

If you’re looking to stream the Star Trek Universe, Paramount+ has you covered with multiple original series like Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Picard. They also bring in content from across Viacom’s owned channels like MTV, VH1, BET, Comedy Central, and kids content on Nickelodeon.

Hulu has a mix of high-quality original series like “The Handmaid’s Tale”, movies like “Nomadland” and “Palm Springs”, and a library of shows and movies from networks like ABC, NBC, Fox, and cable channels like Bravo, USA Network, and FX.

Peacock has an ever changing library of movies and TV shows, but it is the exclusive streaming home to shows like “Yellowstone”, originals like the “Saved By The Bell” and “Punky Brewster” reboots, and the entire libraries of The Office, Parks and Recreation, Law & Order, and Chicago Fire.

Paramount Plus

Paramount+ is a subscription video streaming service that includes on-demand access to 12,000+ TV show episodes including originals Star Trek: Discovery, Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants, and MTV’s Laguna Beach. Meet captivating characters, catch up on your favorite sport, explore new worlds in the growing collection of Paramount+.

Previously under the name ‘CBS All Access,’ Subscribers can choose between their Essentials Plan (which includes ads) for $4.99/month, or go commercial-free with their Premium Plan for $9.99/month.

With their Premium Plan, in addition to not having ads, you will also get access to your local CBS affiliate to stream your local news, prime-time line-up, and late-night. You will also be able to download offline and watch select shows in 4K.

With the lower cost “Essential” plan, you will still be able to watch live NFL games, Champions League, and national news – but you will no longer get your local CBS affiliate like the old ad-supported plan.

With their new app, enjoy advanced recommendations, curated homepages, and new content categories while still being able to stream major live sports like NFL, College Football, College Basketball. Sports fans will also appreciate the service’s inclusion of NFL on CBS, PGA Tour, along with every match of UEFA Champions League and Serie A.

Live Sports

Regardless whether you are on an ad-supported or ad-free plan, some of the services offer live sports. Peacock includes Premier League matches that aren’t on TV, along with WWE Network including PPV events at no extra charge.

Starting in the fall, Hulu will stream select NHL games, and you can integrate your ESPN+ subscription for more live sports. Paramount+ has a wide variety of live sports including NFL, College Football & Basketball, Champions League, and PGA Tour Golf.

While Turner recently acquired NHL rights, which allow them to stream select games on HBO Max,they currently don’t have plans to add it to the platform.

Venner

22. september 1994

Sitcom-hittet følger de sjove genvordigheder for seks venner i tyverne, mens de styrer klar af problemer med arbejdet, livet og kærligheden på 90’ernes Manhattan.

South Park

13. august 1997

This vulgar animated series follows the misadventures of four irreverent grade-schoolers in the quiet, dysfunctional town of South Park, Colorado.

“South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut” is a must-see movie if you enjoy this series. It shows off the musical inclinations that would later lead the creators to make “The Book of Mormon.” You’ll also enjoy the behind-the-scenes documentary, “6 Days to Air: The Making of South Park.”

Rap fyr i L.A.

10. september 1990

Da en frembrusende lømmel fra Philadelphia flytter til et postnummer, der er endnu finere end 90210, ved vestkysten, er et kultursammenstød uundgåeligt. Men bare rolig. Knægten er Will Smith, og han får fyret op under Bel-Air på ingen tid! 

The Sopranos

10. januar 1999

Mød Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini): En helt almindelig, midaldrende forretningsmand. Tony har en pligtopfyldende kone (Edie Falco). En ikke så pligtopfyldende datter. En søn, der hedder Anthony Jr.. En pestilens af en mor. En hidsigprop af en onkel. En ikke voldsomt hemmelig elsker. Og en psykolog (Lorraine Bracco), som han fortæller alle sine hemmeligheder – på nær den, hun allerede kender, nemlig at Tony er mafiachef.

The Wire

2. juni 2002

The Wire er en amerikansk tv-dramaserie der foregår i og omkring den amerikanske by Baltimore i Maryland, hvor serien også er optaget. Serien er skabt og hovedsageligt skrevet af forfatter og tidligere journalist David Simon, og blev oprindeligt sendt på betalingskanalen HBO i USA. The Wire havde premiere den 2. juni 2002 og sluttede den 9. marts 2008, efter 60 afsnit fordelt på fem sæsoner. Hver sæson af The Wire fokuserer på hver sit område af byen Baltimore. I kronologisk rækkefølge er de: den illegale narkohandel, havneområdet, bystyret og bureaukrati, skolesystemet, og de trykte nyhedsmedier. Seriens medvirkende består hovedsageligt at karakterskuespillere, der ikke er særligt kendte for deres andre roller i film og tv. David Simon har sagt, at på trods af at serien udgiver sig for at være et krimidrama, handler serien “i virkeligheden om en by i USA, og om hvordan vi lever sammen. Den handler om hvordan institutioner påvirker det enkelte individ. Om man er en politibetjent, en havnearbejder, en narkohandler, en politiker, en dommer eller advokat, er alle i sidste ende kompromitteret og må være tilfreds med hvilken institution de er engageret i.
kilde: Wikipedia

Curb Your Enthusiasm

15. oktober 2000

The off-kilter, unscripted comic vision of Larry David, who plays himself in a parallel universe in which he can’t seem to do anything right, and, by his standards, neither can anyone else.

There’s also plenty of fresh, original content, including scripted series, reunion specials, documentaries, and more. Recent titles of note include “Friends: The Reunion”, “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion Special”, “The Flight Attendant”, and “Beartown.”

Friends: The Reunion

27. maj 2021

Vores yndlingsvenner er tilbage i de omgivelser, der startede det hele. Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer og særlige gæster genforenes uden for rollerne i en hyldest uden manus til det elskede show.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion Special

18. november 2020

Join Will Smith, Tatyana Ali, Karyn Parsons, Joseph Marcell, Daphne Maxwell Reid, Alfonso Ribeiro and DJ Jazzy Jeff, for a funny and heartfelt night full of music and dancing in honor of the show that ran for six seasons and 148 episodes.

The Flight Attendant

26. november 2020

En historie, der viser, hvordan et helt liv kan forandres på en enkelt aften. Stewardessen Cassandra Bowden vågner på sit hotelværelse med tømmermænd fra aftenen inden i Dubai med et lig ved sin side – og hun aner ikke, hvad der sket.

Beartown

18. oktober 2020

Den lokale helt og ishockeystjerne, Peter Andersson, vender tilbage til hjemstavnen, Björnstad, for at overtage trænerhvervet for det lokale juniorhold. Hele byens drømme om en lysende fremtid hviler på de unge ishockeyspilleres skuldre, men da holdets stjernespiller, Kevin, bliver anklaget for en frygtelig forbrydelse, bliver hele det lille samfund sat på prøve.

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