Canada appears to be notably absent from any publicly introduced growth plans for HBO Max which is extremely irritating for Canadian twine cutters who’ve a protracted standing want to have entry to the service.
As an alternative the selection for a lot of Canadians to observe their favorite HBO content material appears to be Bell’s Crave service, however deep down many individuals have a sneaking suspicion that Crave will not be actually the identical as HBO Max.
So what are the important thing variations between the 2 companies and why are so many individuals so pissed off with Bell and Crave?
We’re going to attempt to cowl all of that on this article, however should you really feel we missed something be happy to remark beneath.
Let’s begin with the essential details about each streaming companies.
HBO Max was launched formally within the US on Could 27, 2020. Earlier than it was renamed and launched beneath the HBO Max moniker it was referred to as HBO Now which was launched on April seventh, 2015. Each the HBO Now and HBO Max service we’re priced at $14.99 US per 30 days (plus tax) and we’re out there to anybody within the US to subscribe to permitting you to entry all of HBO’s content material on demand. HBO Max launched an advert supported subscription tier in June 2021 for $9.99 US a month.
It’s price noting although that HBO Max and HBO Now we’re the evolution of the HBO Go streaming service that initially launched in February 2010. HBO Go was not a direct to shopper streaming service, which means you possibly can not subscribe to it however should you had HBO as a part of your US cable subscription you possibly can login along with your cable supplier credentials and get entry to HBO’s content material by way of quite a lot of streaming gadgets.
As compared Bell launched CraveTV first in December 2014. The unique worth of CraveTV was $4.00 CA (plus tax) however the catch was that it was not a direct to shopper OTT (excessive) streaming service. It was solely out there to as an add-on for subscribers of tv service suppliers owned by Bell Canada (together with Bell Satellite tv for pc TV, Bell Fibe TV, and Bell Aliant), together with Eastlink and Telus.
Crave was compelled to transition the service to a standard direct to shopper OTT service in 2016 after being sued by two Canadian Advocacy Teams (The Public Curiosity Advocacy Centre and the Customers’ Affiliation of Canada) who basically questioned why each CraveTV and the Rogers Shomi streaming service had been forcing customers to subscribe to cable with a purpose to then buy and use the service.
In March of 2016 the CRTC dominated that CraveTV and Shomi should open up and turn into direct to shopper OTT companies but it surely wasn’t till January 2017 that they opened the service as much as everybody and that included a worth bump from $4.00 to $7.99 Canadian a month (plus tax). Crave TV would go on elevating the worth once more from $7.99 to $9.99 Canadian a month (plus tax) in Could 2018
Crave once more modified their pricing tiers in October 2021 which we coated right here.
One of many greatest frustrations with Crave is that they restrict what number of gadgets you may register with a paid account. The present restrict is 5 gadgets. This has nothing to do with how many individuals could be watching one thing on Crave on the identical time, it’s merely a tool restrict even when these gadgets aren’t getting used. Much more irritating is that the method to delete and add gadgets is buried on an obscure web site, you may’t truly handle your gadget listing by means of the app on any of the gadgets.
HBO Max has no such gadget restrict. They do have a restrict of three simultaneous streams. Past which you can signal into your HBO Max account on as many gadgets as you need.
The Content material
The largest distinction between Crave and HBO Max is the content material. Crave touts itself as being dwelling to HBO, Showtime, Starz, ViacomCBS in addition to Bell unique programming in Canada.
At first look this looks as if an ideal deal. With the ability to get all of that content material from all of these sources who’ve their very own separate streaming companies within the US. Whereas Crave does have content material from these streaming companies, don’t be fooled. It’s not the identical.
For example here’s a take a look at the entire motion pictures listed alphabetically on HBO Max as of early February 2022. It’s a video that final six minutes and fifty 9 seconds to scroll by means of simply the flicks on HBO Max.