- Max (formerly HBO Max) wins in the original shows and movies category thanks to its award-winning exclusive content.
- Netflix has a larger overall selection of movies and shows, but Max offers the advantage of live sports streaming.
- Max offers cheaper subscription prices than Netflix with an annual plan. But you may want to pay monthly in order to switch between the two services.
Is Max, formerly HBO Max, better than Netflix? Or is Netflix still #1 in the field of streaming services? If you’re trying to choose between these two streaming platforms, this comprehensive comparison will help you make a more informed decision.
1. Netflix vs. Max: Original Shows and Movies
Max, previously known as HBO Max, has original series and movies spanning multiple categories. Examples include Tokyo Vice and the rebooted version of Gossip Girl. Other examples include Friends: The Reunion and Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
Netflix itself has thousands of original series and movies, and these also go across numerous categories and languages. You’ll find plenty of documentaries, such as Beckham, which focuses on soccer legend and fashion icon David Beckham’s life. You can also find Miss Americana, a documentary about the singer Taylor Swift, on Netflix.
When pitting Max and Netflix together in this category, Max is known for its prestige and award-winning exclusive content. Moreover, some users have become disillusioned with Netflix due to the company canceling many of its original series after one or two seasons.
Another common criticism of Netflix is that its originals aren’t as good as they used to be. While the platform has given international series like Squid Game significant recognition, we’re giving the point to Max in this category.
2. Netflix vs. Max: Overall Movie and Show Selection
Max has more than 1,000 shows and over 2,000 movies, with hundreds added to its catalog each month. Besides a number of original series and films, you can also see content that has been featured elsewhere. For example, Rick and Morty was on Netflix until the summer of 2022, but now, you can find it on Max.
When looking at HBO Max vs. Netflix in terms of TV shows, Netflix wins in terms of quantity. You’ll find more than 3,000 movies on the platform, along with over 1,800 TV programs. Like Max, Netflix adds new content on a regular basis. On Netflix, you’ll find The Office and Brooklyn Nine-Nine—in addition to Breaking Bad and various other series.
One big advantage that Max has over Netflix is that you can watch live sports with your subscription. What you see depends on your specific region, but the platform streams the NBA and many other professional leagues. So, if you’re looking for one of the best live sports streaming sites, Max is a great choice.
You can download shows from Netflix for up to 30 days, and programs remain available for streaming for as long as the platform renews them. Max lets you keep shows for up to 48 hours, while programs will also remain on the platform for an undefined period.
3. Netflix vs. Max: Subscription Prices
Another important consideration when choosing between (HBO) Max and Netflix is the subscription price. Both have different pricing for different regions, so we’ll look at the US for the sake of simplicity.
Below is a comparison of Max and Netflix’s pricing:
Basic (with ads)
Ad-Free (Max)/Standard (Netflix)
Ultimate Ad-Free (Max)/Premium (Netflix)
Netflix does not offer annual subscriptions. If you can’t watch 4K content on Netflix despite using Premium, you can follow our separate guide for tips and advice.
Technically, Max is cheaper than Netflix beyond the basic subscription for both platforms. However, there is one big caveat here: you need to get an annual plan to save money.
4. Netflix vs. Max: Video Resolution
Both Max and Netflix offer viewing in up to 4K. However, you can only view this image quality if you subscribe to the highest subscription plan on both platforms. Other than that, you’ll be able to watch content in 1080p.
Pretty much nothing separates Max and Netflix in this category, so it’s another tie.
5. Netflix vs. Max: Regions and Languages
As of January 2024, Netflix is available in more than 190 countries and territories. You can’t use the service in Russia, Crimea, North Korea, China, or Syria. But in most other places, you should be able to access it without too much difficulty. However, the content will differ based on regional licensing.
On the flip side, Max’s availability is nowhere near as widespread. The streaming platform is available in 61 territories, including the US and Latin America, plus parts of Europe. However, its sports offerings are not available in all territories.
Netflix has more than 60 languages to watch your content in, but you won’t find subtitles for all of these on every show. Max, on the other hand, has 24.
6. Netflix vs. Max: User Interface and Design
Both Netflix and Max have similar interfaces when choosing which account is watching. But beyond that, their interfaces and design are very different.
Netflix has a homepage where you can browse movies, along with filters for different categories. On top of that, you have a My Netflix tab with all of your downloads and notifications. Here, you can also view episodes and movies that you’ve recently watched.
Max has a slightly different color scheme compared to Netflix, and you can browse based on various segments. For example, you can search based on Cartoon Network programs, Max Originals, and more.
Both interfaces are well-designed and user-friendly. If you’re having issues with Max, you can always check out our guide on how to solve common HBO Max issues.
7. Netflix vs. Max: Unique Features
Neither Netflix nor Max allow password sharing outside your household. The services are also both available across smartphones, desktop devices, and tablets.
One big advantage that Max has over Netflix is that you can watch several shows from Warner Bros. network, including Looney Tunes and DC Comics.
On Netflix, you can go behind the scenes of many popular shows (including Bridgerton) to see how they were made. Another big advantage the platform has is that you can download multiple mobile games from Netflix, with its mobile gaming catalog coming free with your subscription.
Netflix vs. (HBO) Max: Which One Should You Choose?
You should choose between Max and Netflix based on what kind of content you want to watch.
Max is a better choice if you want access to prestige series, with exclusives like House of the Dragon and Raised by Wolves. On top of that, Max is a great choice for sports fans that want access to live games, as long as you live in regions where this content is available.
Netflix, on the other hand, is a better option if you love TV shows from across different genres. You can enjoy reality programs like Love Is Blind, for example. On top of that, Netflix is a better choice if you’d like to watch a higher volume of new content.
Although Max takes a slight lead in our comparison, the differences aren’t dramatic. You should remember that what you can watch is sometimes determined by regional restrictions, and you might also see something that you like on either platform.
To save money on your streaming subscriptions, you can always pay on a month-to-month basis and switch between each whenever new content that you’re interested in drops.