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Are HBO Max Users Twice as Engaged vs. Disney Plus?

HBO Max billboard
HBO Max billboard (Image credit: WarnerMedia)

Upstart subscription streaming services Disney Plus and HBO Max are indeed taking market share away from the incumbent SVOD giants Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, Reelgood reported, but it’s HBO Max that’s actually getting a bigger portion of the pie.

Reelgood, which aims to direct streaming video users where to go to find the content they want, cross-sectioned 2 million users streams in the third and fourth quarters. The San Francisco company found that the share of streams for both Netflix and Amazon Prime dropped from Q3 to Q4—from 25% to 22% for Netflix, and from 22% to 20% for Amazon. 

Notably, HBO Max’s share of streams shot up from 9% in Q3 to 12% in Q4. And Disney Plus’s share increased from 5% in Q3 to 6% in Q4. Hulu stayed flat at 15%.

So HBO Max and Disney Plus are both growing market share at the expense of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Fine. But here’s what surprised us: HBO Max controlled twice as many streams as Disney Plus in Q4? 

Isn't Disney Plus, like, way bigger?

Disney Plus reported 86.6 million global subscribers in early December. About 30% of them are driven by Hotstar in India, and a big chunk of that number also comes from Europe. While a precise U.S. tally for Disney Plus wasn’t announced, it would seem safe to assume that the service’s domestic ranks outpace HBO Max, which reported 12.6 million users, also as of early December. 

HBO has around 38 million total users in the U.S., and 57 million globally. 

“Disney Plus does have far more subscribers than HBO Max,” a Reelgood rep conceded. “What we see in our VOD Viewing Insights dashboard is that Disney Plus subscribers are less engaged with the service than HBO subscribers are with HBO Max.”

The rep noted that HBO Max released 47% more new movies and TV shows than Disney Plus did in 2020. And as of Dec. 15, HBO Max had 1,300 more titles. 

Reelgood

(Image credit: Reelgood)