Here’s a twist: HBO gained critical acclaim and viewer loyalty via serious adult dramas, such as “The Sopranos,” “Game of Thrones” and “Sex and the City.”
But when HBO Max debuted last week, the streamer’s most popular titles were for kids, reports Bloomberg. “Looney Tunes Cartoons,” based on the iconic shorts, and “The Not Too Late Show With Elmo,” were the top two favorite TV shows.
By comparison, “Love Life,” Anna Kendrick’s TV series debut, was third and “Legendary,” about drag ballroom shows, was fourth, according to Parrot data.
It’s early days, but HBO Max has proven itself a family-friendly platform. The downside is that none of its initial releases proved to be a big hit out of the gate. Of course, genre is an issue. Disney+’s “The Mandalorian” drove viewership, but it’s part of the famed “Star Wars” saga.
HBO does, however, have several built-in plusses.
First, HBO has 40 million subscribers. In addition, Comcast customers will be able to use their Xfinity credentials to access HBO Max content within its app. HBO Max will be available directly from Xfinity X1 and Flex devices in the future. Subscribers through other partners, like Hulu and YouTube TV, can access HBO shows and movies from their interface.
Still, AT&T, HBO Max’s parent company, will need more subscriptions to finance the original productions rolling out this year.
HBO Max runs $15 month, higher than its rivals. Last week, John Stankey, AT&T’s incoming CEO, announced the company is already planning to release an ad-supported version. “We believe the long-term dynamics will be both subscription and advertising-supported. If you think about what consumers like, they like choice.”