HBO Max vs. Apple TV+, Amazon, Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu

HBO Max launched Wednesday, joining an already crowded field of video streaming services, including Apple’s Apple TV+. HBO-owner AT&T will soon find out if viewers are maxed out on streaming services, yet.

Apple to distribute HBO Max

Andrew Keshner for MarketWatch:

For $15 a month, viewers can watch acclaimed content including “Game of Thrones” and “The Wire.” They can watch new releases like “Joker” or go old school with access to “Casablanca” and “The Wizard of Oz.” That’s not to mention the array of television series that are on tap, like “Friends” and “Big Bang Theory.”

“Clearly, consumers are going to hit a subscription burnout point,” said James Willcox, senior electronics editors at Consumer Reports. But the pandemic could affect viewing habits two different ways, he said. Some cash-strapped subscribers might end services to save money. But others might be willing to spend a little more on other offerings because they’re not spending money going out to restaurants, concerts or movies.

So the same question remains: what to watch and what’s the best bang for the buck? Here’s a look at the pros and cons.

Keshner covers the pros and cons for HBO Max, Amazon, Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, and Apple TV+, about which he writes:

Apple TV+

The pros: “The upside is going to be completely fresh and exclusive content,” Pichman said. Not only that, it will probably look pretty slick too, he said — “typical Apple high production values.” Big names like director Steven Spielberg and actors Steve Carell and Jennifer Aniston signed on for projects, he noted… The video service went live Nov. 1… Its monthly cost is $4.99.

The cons: There’s not really much of a back catalog of shows and movies to pick from — not yet at least. All streaming services showcasing original content will be facing challenges in the coming months because the pandemic has put a halt on productions, Pichman noted. And that could especially crimp a platform like Apple, he added.

MacDailyNews Take: For some reason, (he’s never seen the series, he’s biased, he needed twelve more words for SEO, and/or some other reason) Keshner throws in, “Though come [sic] critics were pretty rough on Carrell and Aniston’s “Morning Show.”)

As we explained in November:

The anti-Apple bias in certain early reviews of The Morning Show was obvious and palpable. We bet you can read the reviews and figure out which reviewer has stuck themselves with an Android phone and/or a Windows PC.

When Apple TV+ shows are reviewed by those without an anti-Apple agenda, the reviews are excellent. Read the reviews closely and, in some, you can clearly see the anti-Apple sentiment colors their reviews. — MacDailyNews, November 3, 2019

The Morning Show is a high quality show, eminently watchable, well-written, and interesting, with some stellar acting (Jennifer Aniston is a revelation especially). On any non-Apple service, The Morning Show would generate uniformly rave reviews. The wide disparity of the reviews is clear evidence that some reviewers have ulterior agendas.

Why do some people have an anti-Apple bias? Because they are ignorant masochists who made the wrong choice and, at least subconsciously, realize they blew their money, time, and patience on inferior wares and so they dig in deep in order to protect themselves mentally. Defense mechanisms are psychological strategies brought into play by the mind to manipulate, deny, or distort reality in order to defend against feelings of anxiety in order to maintain one’s self-worth. “Apple is ‘bad,’ therefore I made the right choice.”

Cobbling together a computer [fake Mac] from one maker, a tablet [pretend iPad] from another, and a phone [wannabe iPhone] from yet another is not “the right choice.” It is stupid and inefficient. Those of us who smartly use Macs + iPhones + iPads effortlessly – with Continuity – run rings around those self-defeated, hamstrung, privacy-ceding saps all day long, every day of the week, 365 days a year.

Of course, earlier this year, The Morning Show‘s Steve Carrell scored a SAG award nom for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series, Reese Witherspoon was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress – Television Series Drama, Jennifer Aniston won the SAG award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series, Billy Crudup won Critics’ Choice Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, and The Morning Show was nominated for a Golden Globe Awards in the Best Television Series – Drama category.

That’s hardly “pretty rough” treatment, Andy.

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