No One Seems All That Concerned About Max Dropping the ‘HBO’

Perhaps Max is the one to watch.

While Warner Bros. Discovery was widely criticized by many for dropping the “HBO” branding from its core streaming service, now called “Max,” no one seems to mind all that much now. According to a new study commissioned by Puck and performed by The Quorum over the week of July 22-28, Max’s perceived “quality” is exactly where HBO Max was back in January. Its 55 percent score is much higher than the 43 percent (January) score for Discovery+ alone.

More from IndieWire

“Trust” in Max (also 55 percent) is actually higher than HBO Max’s January (53 percent) score. Discovery+ in January had a 44 percent trust score. HBO Max and Discovery+ combined to form Max on May 23; Discovery+ is still available as a standalone service.

Max’s overall net promoter score (or NPS, a score that demonstrates how likely a user is to promote a business to peers) declined from 41 percent (HBO Max in January) to 38 percent. That’s better than the competition: Disney+ and Apple TV+ dropped five and seven points, respectively, a spokesperson for film-data research firm The Quorum told IndieWire. The rest of the major streamers had declines in the double digits; read more of the competition’s results from the survey here.

The big declines for Max are in “admiration” and “familiarity.” In the latter, which chronicles sheer recognition, Max is down from a 48 percent score for HBO Max in January to a 41 percent now. The admiration level is down to 42 percent (from 47 percent).

Those are both understandable declines — and each for their own obvious reason(s). Familiarity is naturally going to go down when a well-established service undergoes a name change. Double that when the recognizable branding, “HBO” in this case, is the piece that got scrapped. And the addition of all that low-brow Discovery+ programming (everyone’s go-to example is “Dr. Pimple Popper”) undoubtedly dilutes the prestige associated with HBO Max, hence Max’s fewer admirers.

Earlier this month Warner Bros. Discovery reported it had lost 1.8 million streaming subscribers in Max’s launch quarter. The not-unexpected result can be (at least) in part written off as the result of HBO Max and Discovery+ standalone subscribers consolidating into one Max membership.

Best of IndieWire

Sign up for Indiewire's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Click here to read the full article.