New kid on the block
From $5/month at Peacock
- Free to $10 per month
- An extensive catalog of classic and current NBC shows
- Virtual channels
- Free streaming is only possible with some ads
- Not currently compatible with Amazon Fire TV and Nintendo.
NBC’s Peacock streaming service offers up to 13,000 hours of live TV channels, films, television classics, and next-day access to current shows for free, with limited ads. You can also upgrade to a monthly plan for even more hours of exclusive content.
The one to beat
$15/month at HBO Max
- Non-HBO shows are also available
- No commercials
- Warner Bros. movie deal for 2021
- No free trial
- No sports content (right now)
- Steeper price than most streaming services
HBO Max boasts a massive streaming library that includes more than 10,000 hours of premium film and television content from HBO and WarnerMedia. Like HBO GO and HBO NOW, which the streaming service replaced, HBO Max is ad-free.
While both Peacock and HBO Max offer new and classic content for an affordable fee, Warner Bros.’ decision to release its entire 2021 theatrical roster on HBO Max might give the service an edge. Alternatively, Peacock offers a more varied selection in its content library, specifically in live sports content and comedy. So, which is the better fit for you?
Peacock vs. HBO Max: Prices and features
One thing to consider when deciding whether Peacock or HBO Max is the better service for you is the different pricing tiers. In addition to its free, ad-supported option — which features 13,000 hours of content — Peacock offers a Premium ad-supported tier for $5 a month, which increases the content library to 20,000 hours. Peacock’s Premium Plus plan costs $10 a month and boasts 20,000 hours of interruption-free content. Peacock also allows new users to sign-up for a free seven-day trial to test drive its Premium and Premium Plus plans.
Meanwhile, HBO Max only offers one plan for $15 a month to access all content on the platform. While HBO Max initially offered a free trial period, the streaming service discontinued that option after announcing its exclusive film deal with Warner Bros. That being said, HBO Max offers a 20% discount to subscribers who choose to pay for six months of the service in advance.
Another key feature for any streaming service is the number of profiles and devices each household is allowed on a given platform. While Peacock and HBO Max both allow subscribers to stream on up to three different devices simultaneously, Peacock users within the same household all operate from the same account. Meanwhile, HBO Max enables subscribers to add a total of five separate profiles per household, as well as offers two types of profiles: adult and kid.
The kid profile allows parental controls to limit what content can be watched. Peacock doesn’t offer users the option to block certain shows and movies from the platform, which could be problematic for larger families with children that span different ages and have different content-watching ages. And while Peacock does vow to notify users when a child under age 13 has accessed the service, it’s unclear how effective this monitoring actually is.
|Profile limit per account||5||1||1||1|
Currently, both 4K video streaming and HDR video streaming are restricted to those with a Peacock Premium or Premium Plus subscription. Similarly, HBO Max users did not have access to 4K and HDR 10 until the premiere of Wonder Woman 1984 in December 2020. That film was also released with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support, and HBO Max announced plans to add more 4K content to its library in 2021. However, viewers should know that streaming in 4K HDR is only possible if you have a TV that supports those features and an internet connection fast enough to stream video files that large.
Peacock vs. HBO Max: Battle of the media libraries
At launch, Peacock’s Premium and Premium Plus tiers offered roughly 20,000 hours of content spanning film and television. Among the content available are a variety of NBC classics, such as The Office and Law & Order, as well as newer series like Brave New World and Yellowstone. You can also expect to find late night TV programs such as The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and The Amber Ruffin Show.
While HBO Max’s more modest library features roughly 10,000 hours of content, the platform’s landmark deal with Warner Bros. means it will be the exclusive platform to see 17 blockbuster films when they premiere in 2021. These titles include In the Heights, Dune, The Matrix 4, and Space Jam: A New Legacy. Zack Snyder’s long-awaited, four-hour cut of Justice League is also set to debut on HBO Max in March 2021. Additionally, HBO Max rolled out 31 original series in 2020 — including the Kaley Cuoco-led The Flight Attendant — with plans to expand to 50 series in 2021.
|iOS & iPadOS||✔️||✔️|
|Smart TVs||Vizio and LG||FireTV TVs Roku TVs Samsung (2016 and later) Airplay|
One of HBO Max’s biggest perks is its exclusive rights to premier HBO original series like Lovecraft Country, Westworld, True Detective, Band of Brothers, The Wire, Chernobyl, The Sopranos, Veep, and Deadwood. As if that wasn’t enough, WarnerMedia parent company AT&T also bought the exclusive streaming rights for fan-favorite shows, including Friends, The Big Bang Theory, Rick and Morty, and The West Wing.
Meanwhile, Peacock stands out for its inclusion of CBS-affiliated programming like Ray Donovan, The Affair, and Undercover Boss. It’s also home to 700 Universal and Paramount films, including The Bourne, Fast & Furious, Harry Potter, and Despicable Me franchises. It also beats out HBO Max regarding sports content as the exclusive streamer of the English Premier League and the Olympics in 2021.
|Hours of content available||20,000||10,000+|
|Notable Original Series||The Office Yellowstone The Affair||The Flight Attendant Euphoria Lovecraft Country|
|Notable Films||Bourne franchise Psych 2: Lassie Come Home Jurassic Park I-III||Wonder Woman 1984 Emma The Witches|
Peacock vs. HBO Max: Which one should you pick?
Unfortunately, there’s no clear-cut answer when picking the better service between Peacock and HBO Max. Peacock offers a free tier and provides access to the middle tier for free to Comcast subscribers, making it hard to ignore. Peacock also offers a wider variety of family-friendly, on-demand, and live content. In contrast, HBO Max having the rights to the newest blockbuster films from Warner Bros. may be enough to sway you in that direction. Its content library, as a whole, is also more exclusive, mature, and critically-acclaimed. But, ultimately, it really depends on personal preference.
Stream your faves
From $5/month at Peacock
Your favorite franchises are just a click away
Peacock is the right service for viewers looking to rewatch The Office and various other classic NBC content. The service also offers the best in late-night talk shows, sports, and more.
The blockbuster bet
Maximize your streaming experience
$15/month at HBO Max
HBO Max is the place to go for edgy HBO originals, exclusive film releases, and the highest-quality streaming experience.