If the last few months have not been especially good for Netflix, we cannot say the same for HBO Max, since while the oldest of streaming services has lost 200,000 users, the WarnerMedia platform has added no less than three million. You definitely shouldn’t breathe the same atmosphere in Reed Hastings’s office as in David Zaslav’s.
Evidently There are many factors that must be taken into account to understand this difference., and the main one has to do with the point from which both services start. Netflix is, as I said before, the dean and, even today, the one with the largest market share. HBO Max, for its part, is a much younger service, which is still in its growth phase, with plenty of room for it. And in addition, several goals have already been scored with the simultaneous release and at no additional cost of theatrical releases, as we already saw in the case of Matrix Resurrections.
Now, we must also take into account the change in the average profile of the user of this type of service. In the early days, when Netflix was the only ship that sailed those seas, for users that was lentils, you know, or take it or leave it. However, with the proliferation of other services, the user’s ability to choose has grown, and now the differences between them, as in this case between HBO Max and Netflix, influence the final choice of users.
A workhorse for Netflix, which goes directly against the interests of many users, is the shared accounts. The service strives to remind you that this use is not permitted, and periodically takes actions to limit it. An understandable limitation in some cases, but not so much in others. And it is that a group of people, anonymous to each other, who agree to share an account is not the same as, for example, a pair of brothers who each live in their own house and who share an account.
According to the legal terms of the vast majority of streaming services, accounts can only be shared between people who live at the same address, so they have every right to persecute any use that goes beyond that. However, the legitimate response by users may be to decide that, under these conditions, the service is no longer of interest to them. I think that persecution is related to part of the recent casualties, and I have a feeling that HBO Max knows it too.
And it is that, as we can read in PhoneArena, those who until now were the managers of HBO Max, that is, AT&T, they were perfectly aware of the sharing of HBO Max accounts and have chosen to allow it, as long as it was not an abuse.
“We have actively examined how certain users use the product, and we have features and technical capabilities to limit what I would call rampant abuse,” said John Stankey, CEO of AT&T, adding that those HBO Max terms and conditions against sharing of passwords are ‘customer sensitive’, and that in all this time they have not encountered negative reactions when they have taken action against accounts that abused the service.
Thus, while Neflix has been trying to end what we can describe as reasonable sharing for some time, its competition has decided to take advantage of it by being much more permissive and reasonable. Perhaps HBO Max is, in this regard, the mirror in which Netflix should look.