A recent report from Whip Media has revealed that of all the different streaming services available in 2021, HBO Max is increasingly regarded as the user favorite. Dethroning the previous king of Netflix, HBO Max reported more than 80% of users were satisfied or very satisfied with the service. Followed, in order, by Netflix, Hulu, and Disney Plus, HBO’s lead isn’t great, but it does indicate an interesting gain likely resulting from decisions adopted in 2020.
During this time, a partnership with Warner Bros. opened up the entirety of the new Warner Bros. library of films to launch simultaneously in theatre and on-demand. With titles like The Suicide Squad, Godzilla vs. Kong, and WW84, streaming customers finally had something that set one service far above the rest, and they responded with their wallets.
That’s not to say that HBO Max is the most popular, however, as Netflix still boasts the greatest subscriber count of any international streaming service. While 88% of the Whip Media survey reported an active subscription to Netflix, only 53% were subscribed to HBO, making the disparity all the more surprising. With inevitable blockbusters such as Dune and The Matrix: Resurrections arriving before the end of the year, the inclusion of such big hits on the service is only likely to improve customer satisfaction. What’s less certain is the effect that this could have on the future of the streaming industry, as competitors scramble to adapt.
Progressive Online Industries Creating a Shakeup
Though this recent development by HBO has created waves in the streaming environment, it’s worth remembering that streaming had a similar effect when it took over from traditional broadcast and cable services. From what used to be strict limitations on viewing times and shows, the convenience and selection of streaming significantly disrupted the traditional market, and it’s far from the first digital system to do so.
Outside of entertainment, similar digital developments have had equally complicated effects on decades-old traditional industries. One of the more pronounced of these is the mortgage market as demonstrated by the service Trussle. Developed for quick mortgage advice, this system efficiently compares more than 12,000 deals in a way that older systems never could. Like with what Netflix did, the advantages of Trussle have made it the preferred choice to many, with few ever considering going back to the way things used to be.
Predicting Future Direction
With this survey revealing some interesting changes to streaming service satisfaction, it’s probable that other major systems will soon take note. As following the lead of existing services is common, we could soon expect to see the likes of Netflix and Disney Plus soon adopt a similar simultaneous theatre and on-demand release schedule.
The question left for the customer is what this could mean for our wallets. Originally one of the reasons streaming was so great was because it was so centralized, and thus saved money. With more services splitting shows and movies out to more paid systems, this financial advantage of streaming is diminishing. If more movies come to on-demand systems, however, streamers could again find themselves with a more financially rewarding choice. The leaves us wondering what specific service or services do we want to subscribe to, and what will we do when we inevitably miss out on something we desperately want to see.