Insights

Max’s Strategy: Crack Down on Password Sharing, Capitalize on HBO Originals

20 May, 2024

Image: House of the Dragon, HBO

Max is set to implement measures against password sharing. This follows in the footsteps of Netflix, which saw subscriber growth of almost 9 million after curbing password sharing in 2023, and Disney+, which began its efforts last month.

The password-sharing crackdown is part of Warner Bros. Discovery’s larger strategy to boost the streaming platform’s profitability. It is expected to start later in 2024 and continue through 2025. To succeed, the platform crackdown must convert individuals who lost access to the app into new paying subscribers. 

A key element in this strategy is the platform’s lineup of upcoming new shows and seasons. According to Parrot Analytics Content Panorama, which tracks upcoming releases on streaming platforms, HBO and Max original series are set to account for 9.6% of all new seasons released by the major SVOD platforms in the U.S. for the remainder of 2024. Looking ahead to 2025, HBO/Max titles currently represent 20% of new seasons expected to premiere next year.

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Of HBO’s upcoming releases for 2024, 40% are new seasons of returning series.  This includes the highly anticipated second season of “House of the Dragon,” one of the most popular shows on Max, and the third season of “The Gilded Age.” For 2025, HBO is planning to release new seasons of “The Last of Us” and “The White Lotus,” both recent massive hits.  

Entirely new series make up 60% of HBO/Max’s upcoming releases for 2024, but just 20% of the new releases are expected to debut in 2025. High-profile upcoming premieres include DC’s “The Penguin” and “Welcome to Derry,” a Stephen King adaptation and prequel to the movie “It.”

One of Max’s main strengths is its exclusive rights to HBO shows on streaming (with a few exceptions). The network’s reputation for high-quality TV dramas is crucial in setting Max apart in an increasingly competitive streaming market and is key to the successful implementation of its password crackdown. The anticipation of new seasons of acclaimed series is crucial to prevent individuals who have lost access to the platform following the crackdown from simply giving up on watching the content.



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