Goodbye HBO, Hello Max - Big News For Streaming?

Ariel Ariel
5/26/23

This is a single insight from This Week in Apps - Streaming Shakeup. Check out the full article for more insights.


It's finally here.

A few months ago, HBO announced it will merge content from HBO Max and the recently-acquired Discovery Channel into a single app. I talked about why this makes sense a few weeks ago, but the gist is that more content in one app makes it easier to get downloads.

Max, the combo app, rolled out this week and did so in a way that confused a lot of folks.

Instead of renaming the HBO Max app, the new Max is a new app, and HBO Max was removed from the App Store and Google Play roughly 24 hours after Max launched.

Very confusing!

There's a lawyer out there who would guess it has something to do with streaming rights in and out of the US, but that lawyer isn't me so I'll move on.

Pulling HBO Max, which was one of the highest-earning apps in the US sounds like a massive headache because those users would have to resubscribe to Max to "keep" their subscription (aka. to keep paying HBO).

But would they? Or would they see this as an opportunity to drop a subscription they got for that one big movie and forgot to cancel?

In its first two days on the App Store, Max earned a total of $1.6M of net revenue, and that's after Apple's cut. For context, on an average day earlier in the week, HBO Max earned about $1.8M, and that's without the surge of users having to switch over.

So, maybe not everyone got the memo or is using HBO Max as much to switch right away. Two days aren't enough to know what'll happen, so we'll have to wait and see.

Two things to keep in mind are that HBO didn't rebrand. HBO Max did. Company vs. app. That's important. And also, Max is only available in the US right now while HBO Max is still available outside the US. It'll be interesting to see how that rollout impacts revenue when it happens.

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Tagged: #streaming

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