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HBO Max vs Disney Plus: Streaming services compared

HBO Max vs Disney Plus
(Image credit: HBO Max; Disney Plus)

Now that HBO Max is live, you may be considering how HBO Max vs Disney Plus stack up. There are so many players in the streaming service game these days, and subscribing to all of them isn't financially possible or even desirable for everybody. 

HBO Max is the new platform from WarnerMedia that aggregates content from that company's iconic brands, including HBO, DC and Warner Bros. film and television. Disney Plus is also a new-ish streaming service, with launched in November 2019 with an enormous library housing its many animated classic movies, live-action hits and the Star Wars, Marvel and Pixar franchises.

HBO Max's launch could mean it's time to make some hard decisions, so our HBO Max vs Disney Plus face-off will explain why you should subscribe to one or the other (or both).

HBO Max vs Disney Plus: At a glance

HBO MaxDisney Plus
Monthly Price$14.99$6.99
ContentHBO shows, licensed movies, HBO Max originals, WarnerMedia movies and TV showsClassic Disney movies, Star Wars, Marvel, National Geographic, originals
Top titlesFriends, Game of Thrones, Wonder Woman, Batman, Aquaman, Big Bang Theory, Justice League Snyder Cut, South ParkThe Mandalorian, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Avengers, Black Panther, Rise of Skywalker
Supported devicesiPhone, iPad, Android phones, Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast, Samsung TVs, XBox One, Playstation 4 iPhone, iPad, Android phones, Amazon Fire tablet, Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast, most smart TVs, Fire TV, Roku, XBox One, Playstation 4
4K contentNoYes
Simultaneous streams34
DownloadsYesYes
Free trialYes (one week)No
AvailableNowNow

HBO Max vs Disney Plus: Price

HBO Max's price is $14.99, which is the same amount as HBO Now. (Confused? Learn more about HBO Max vs HBO Go vs HBO Now.) If you got the preorder deal, the price was lowered $11.99 per month for a year. 

Disney Plus costs $6.99 per month as a standalone. However, it's $69.99 for a full year, which essentially gives you two months free (or $5.83 per month). Also, there's a Disney Plus, Hulu and ESPN Plus bundle, which costs $12.99 and saves you about $5. Or if you don't want to watch ads, you can bundle Disney Plus and ESPN Plus with Hulu's ad-free version, and save $6 per month. The same offer is there for those paying for Hulu + Live TV.

HBO Max vs Disney Plus: Supported devices

The HBO Max app is available on iPhones, iPads, Android phones, Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast, Playstation 4, Xbox One and Samsung smart TVs. However, HBO Max isn't on Roku or Fire TV yet, as it is still working out deals with those companies.

The Disney Plus app is available on almost all of the best streaming devices. Netflix devices include iPhones, iPads, Android phones, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV and tablets, most major smart TVs (LG WebOS, Samsung Tizen, Android TV, Vizio SmartCast, Roku TV), Chromecast, Xbox One and Playstation 4.

HBO Max vs Disney Plus content: Shows and movies

HBO Max launched with an huge library, thanks to the decades of content amassed by WarnerMedia brands. HBO Max houses content from HBO, DC and the Warner Bros. movie and television studios, as well as licensed content from Studio Ghibli and BBC. 

HBO's shows include Friends, Game of Thrones, The Big Bang Theory, Rick and Morty, The Sopranos, The Wire and dozens of other classics and recent hits. HBO movies include the DC universe, like the Batman franchise, Wonder Woman and Aquaman, as well as Warner Bros. films including The Lord of the Rings, The Matrix trilogy and the Lego franchise. HBO Max is also making its own originals. At launch, it debuted Love Life with Anna Kendrick, The Not Too Late Show With Elmo and more. In the future, HBO Max will have a reboot of Gossip Girl, a Green Lantern series and Justice League Dark.

HBO Max vs Disney Plus shows

(Image credit: Warner Bros.; HBO)

Disney Plus boasts a gigantic library from its storied history of hit movies and shows, making it one of the best streaming services out there even though it's still relatively new. Disney Plus movies include its animated classics, like Cinderella, Little Mermaid and The Lion King, as well as more recent live-action versions. You can watch the Star Wars movies on Disney Plus (including the recent Rise of Skywalker), Marvel movies like Avengers: Endgame and Pixar favorites Toy Story and Coco. 

Disney Plus has original shows, led by the pop culture sensation The Mandalorian, which gifted us all Baby Yoda. And there's more to come. The Mandalorian Season 2 is coming in October 2020, followed by The Falcon and Winter Soldier and WandaVision.

New on Disney Plus: Disney Gallery The Mandalorian

(Image credit: Disney Plus)

HBO Max vs Disney Plus: 4K content

Disney Plus carries many 4K movies and television shows at no extra cost. All you need is a 4K television or monitor.

HBO Max does not offer 4K streaming at this time, though it may in the future.

HBO Max vs Disney Plus: Simultaneous streams

HBO Max can support three simultaneous streams across five profiles (under one account). Disney Plus supports four simultaneous streams across seven profiles (under one account).

HBO Max vs Disney Plus: Free trial

New subscribers can get a HBO Max free trial for seven days. Plus, some AT&T wireless and internet customers may be able to get a one-month, three-month or yearlong free trial. Check your AT&T account to see if you qualify.

The Disney Plus free trial lasts for one week for new customers. To sign up, just go to DisneyPlus.com. You'll be prompted to enter your email address and credit card information. You can select the monthly or annual plan if you continue beyond the free trial.

HBO Max vs Disney Plus: Bottom line

Disney Plus has already proven itself in the six months since its launch. It has a seemingly endless collection of family-friendly movies and TV shows, making it a great streaming service for anyone with kids (adults ... that's another story). Disney Plus also roared out of the gate and cemented its position in the pop culture conversation thanks to a lil thing named Baby Yoda. The Marvel series coming down the pike are only going to boost demand for the service. And since the subscription cost is relatively low, Disney Plus is a must-have at a very affordable price.

HBO Max is priced relatively high among its competitors at $14.99 (only Netflix's Premium plan at $15.99 is more expensive). But essentially, that's what HBO Now subscribers were already paying for access to prestige TV shows like Game of Thrones, Succession, The Sopranos, The Wire, etc. Now, for that same price, HBO Max gives you all of that plus much more — drawing from the vast catalog of hit movies and shows produced by Warner Bros., TNT, TBS, Cartoon Network and other brands. That includes all of Friends, The Big Bang Theory, South Park, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Rick and Morty and more. While HBO Max is more expensive than Disney Plus, it's geared more toward adult viewers who want to watch Khaleesi rain fire from her dragons and the Central Perk crew break up and make up all in one place.