Following the launch of HBO Max in the US, Danyaal Rashid, Thematic Analyst at GlobalData, has offered his views on the SVoD platform, suggesting its pricepoint could hinder its expansion.
“HBO Max is launching at a time when the subscription video on demand (SVoD) market is becoming increasingly saturated. New services from Disney, Apple and NBCUniversal (Peacock) have all been released in the past six months, so HBO Max will need to pack a real punch to break through to the consumer,” said Rashid.
“Despite growing competition in the SVoD market, the surge in streaming uptake during the Covid-19 pandemic ensures there will still be plenty of room for HBO Max to grow. Consumers are generally willing to subscribe to multiple services in order to gain access to their favourite shows, and HBO Max has an extensive content library. The platform launches with more than 10,000 hours of premium content, including exclusive access to Friends and Game of Thrones. This puts it in a strong position to compete, and its exclusive rights to HBO content will force competitors to invest further in their own original programming.”
“However, the price of the platform may be an obstacle to its expansion. At $14.99 a month, the price far exceeds both Disney+ ($6.99) or Netflix’s basic offering ($8.99). However, the cost is the same as a HBO subscription on cable, and existing subscribers through external platforms, such as Hulu, will gain access for free. There are also rumours of a cheaper ad-supported video on demand (AVoD) version in the works that will be sure to stoke consumer anticipation and take on Peacock’s ad-supported tiers,” Rashid concluded.