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Have we finally reached full saturation of the streaming services market? We thought we were already there with Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Now we have Disney+ and HBO Max to think about… and that’s just for movies! It gets even murkier with TV streaming in the mix.
It’s getting harder and harder to decide which streaming services are worth subscribing to and which ones need to be ignored. If you’re a geek, Disney+ and HBO Max need to be high up on your list of options. They offer some of the best bang-for-your-buck in terms of geeky content.
You’ll find a dearth of sci-fi, fantasy, and superhero movies and TV series on both Disney+ and HBO Max. Which one should you pick if you can only afford one of them? Here’s what you need to know.
Disney+ vs. HBO Max: Pricing
Disney+ is currently available as three different plans: the monthly plan is $6.99/mo; the annual plan is $69.99/yr ($5.83/mo); the bundle plan is $12.99/mo, which includes Hulu (With Ads) and ESPN+.
HBO Max is currently available as a single plan: $14.99/mo.
Clearly, HBO Max comes with a premium. It costs more than even the most expensive Disney+ plan, which can be tough to swallow if you’re on a limited budget. Then again, the price of HBO Max is on par with other streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime—so it’s more accurate to say that Disney+ is extremely affordable.
Disney+ vs. HBO Max: Comic Movies
If you’re not into comic book franchises at all, this won’t matter to you—but if you’re a comic fan, this could be the deciding factor.
Disney owns Marvel, including the Marvel Cinematic Universe and other Marvel properties. HBO Max features a sizable portion of Warner Bros. franchises, including the DC Extended Universe.
Unfortunately for fans, HBO Max takes a different approach to its DC content than Disney+ does with Marvel:
With Disney+, the vast majority of Marvel movies are available on the service. The only films you won’t find are those that were part of pre-existing deals with other streaming services, like Netflix. However, even these will presumably come to Disney+ eventually.
On the other hand, HBO Max tends to rotate its non-HBO content. This means that while the service launched with a wealth of DC films—including Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, and The Lego Batman Movie—some of those are no longer available. A few titles that weren’t originally available, like Watchmen, are now available.
While Marvel movies have regularly beaten DC movies at the box office, you may still prefer DC movies. It’s just frustrating to know that you can’t always count on certain movies being available since they might be rotated out.
Disney+ vs. HBO Max: Other Movies
Disney owns Star Wars. HBO Max features Harry Potter, which is owned by Warner Bros. There are plenty of other movie franchises on both platforms, of course, but these are the two biggest geeky franchises at odds. If you’re a die-hard fan of either, then your decision is pretty easy.
Disney already has a lot of pull with the Marvel movies and Star Wars movies, but don’t forget all the Pixar movies and classic Disney animated movies! If you’re an adult over 30 years of age and want to feel nostalgic, or if you have kids of your own, there’s a ton of value in having Disney+.
HBO Max also features other Warner Bros. properties, including The Matrix, The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and a bunch of Studio Ghibli classics. This, combined with the Harry Potter, could be what pushes you toward HBO Max as your geeky streaming service of choice.
Disney+ vs. HBO Max: TV Series
Disney+ features a large selection of live-action and animated series from the Marvel and Star Wars franchises. The most notable one would be The Mandalorian, but there’s also Agent Carter, Runaways, WandaVision, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
HBO Max features several TV shows from the Warner Bros. collection, including The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Arrow, as well as the DC Universe original series Doom Patrol and the HBO original series Watchmen.
Where the two streaming services really start to differ is in their non-franchise TV offerings.
Disney+ has The Simpsons, which is a big get, but doesn’t have as much to offer when it comes to other TV shows. HBO Max, on the other hand, has all of the best HBO TV series and several other popular offerings, including Rick and Morty, Doctor Who, Friends, and The Big Bang Theory.
More Streaming Services for Geeks
Of course, only sticking to Disney+ or HBO Max means ignoring all the other geeky content out there. Why limit yourself? Sure, you don’t want to subscribe to everything because that’d cost a fortune—but if you’re smart, you can pick the ones that offer best value and not spend too much.