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Study: HBO Max is Viewers’ Choice for Best Streaming Service

Steve Anderson

The greatest benefit about streaming is also its greatest drawback: choice. There are a host of options out there for those who want to cut the cable. A new report from Whip Media reveals that, for a growing body of viewers, the best in the field is HBO Max.

This comes just as HBO Max is trying to grow subscribers by offering new subscribers 50% OFF for the next 6 months for a limited time.

The Whip Media study found that HBO Max streamers proved most satisfied with the streaming video on demand (SVOD) service. In fact, HBO Max beat Netflix in terms of overall satisfaction, with 80 percent of HBO Max subscribers reporting themselves either “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the service.

Subscribers cheered WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar’s decision to release the company's films on HBO Max on the same date they’re released to theaters. This move didn’t sit well with theaters or filmmakers, and back in March, Warner struck a deal with AMC that ensures theaters get first access for 45 days.

Even with this deal in place, HBO Max will continue to roll out major releases, at least through the end of 2021. HBO Max averages one theatrical release every two weeks, though you’d need the premium subscription (normally $14.99/month) to see them.

For those who think that this will limit HBO Max’s appeal, that’s likely not the case. The Whip Media study found that 60 percent of subscribers actually preferred paying for a streaming service if it meant eliminating commercials. Predictably, subscribers in lower income brackets preferred ad-supported tiers. HBO Max addressed this audience in June with an ad-supported $9.99 per month tier, a move that helped the service reach 47 million subscribers in Q2 2021, up 2.8 million over Q1. The streaming service has added a total of 5.5 million subscribers in 2021.

HBO Max faces one major hurdle, however. The Whip Media study asked: if you could only have one service, which one would you keep? Netflix was far and away the winner with 41 percent of the vote. Second place? That went to Hulu with 21 percent. HBO Max came in third in the rankings, bringing in just 13 percent who would consider it the one to keep.

HBO Max has made a lot of headway in a comparatively short time. Being third on the “most likely to keep” list is no mean feat. It’s just as clear that HBO Max needs some new drawing power to get, and keep, interest going. Its hefty vault of movies should help here, as should its connections to the DC Animated Universe. Something needs to happen, though, for HBO Max to even hope to break out of the third-place doldrums. People are happy where they are…but that’s not going to change anyone’s place in the rankings.

Related: HBO Max is The Streamable’s choice for Best Documentaries, Best Comedy Movies, Best Action Movies, and Best Streaming Service for Families.

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