HBO Max comes to Latin America and heats up the streaming battle
Image: HBO Max/Screenshot
Technology

The battle between global streaming services heats up as HBO Max comes to Latin America

Special pricing and global premieres directly on streaming are Warner Media's strategies in one of the most competitive niches in the streaming industry

Ler em português

After a year available just in the United States, HBO Max finally crosses the U.S. borders and reaches another region. Warner Media, the owner of the streaming platform, chose Latin America to start its global expansion – it is expected to reach 21 countries in Europe later this year – not only because of local distribution agreements but also because of the huge potential of the region, marked by intense use of the internet, mobile devices and avid consumption of streaming services.

As of today, the platform, which owns world-renowned franchises, puts on the board the pieces that will be part of its strategy to compete with Netflix, Prime Video, GloboPlay, Disney Plus and other competitors. What can we expect?

HBO Max has the potential to take the lead because of Warner’s catalog and its acquisitions. Few have a catalog like this, either in quality or quantity – there are more than 15,000 hours of programming! Not even Netflix, which pioneered the model, or Disney, the entertainment giant, will have the appeal of HBO Max series – like Friends and Game of Thrones to say the least – or even classics like The Matrix, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, League of Justice and other.

READ ALSO: Disney+ and HBO Max to capitalize on Latin Americans’ stacking platforms

Furthermore, in a decision considered bold, the company decided to put all of its major premieres directly on streaming in 2021. The result was a huge adherence to the service plus an avalanche of critics, but, at the end of the day, the balance was positive. After all, who can afford to put Dune, The Matrix 4, Suicide Squad, Judas and the Black Messiah and Godzilla vs Kong right on their home TV?

Subscriptions have increased, but the ground for HBO Max is even much greater. There was not, yet, that famous signature scaling up, despite all the aforementioned elements. How then to transform Latin America on this springboard?

Price, for starters. In the launch announcement, the company innovated with two subscription plans, Standard and Mobile, a coherent strategy considering the massive digitization of Latin American consumers, eager for smaller gadgets, but who still suffer from internet coverage.

READ ALSO: How streaming platforms are taking Latin American productions to new global audiences

In addition, unlike other players, HBO Max centralized everything in marketing, from advertisements to social networks, and although its marketing presence in the region seems shy, almost none of its competitors entered with a 100% localized campaign.

But even if it starts its journey in Latin America on the right pillars, HBO Max will have an arduous mission in the region due to the strength of Netflix, Prime Video, GloboPlay and Disney Plus, in particular. Besides the obvious need for more frequent launches, since there is no catalog that attracts new subscribers just by itself, the service will need partnerships to grow the user base and reach other business segments such as payments, creation, events, content and more.

It’s never been more necessary to understand the local consumer to be successful worldwide. Netflix does this masterfully, it remains to be seen who will do it at the same level for this streaming battle to really heat up.

Subscriptions starting at $3 and Mobile and Multiscreen subscription plans

HBO Max debuted today in Brazil and 38 other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean with subscriptions starting at $ 3. The new user will be entitled to access a kind of “tasting menu” free of charge, where selected series episodes will be available. HBO Max will also offer a seven-day trial, so that the user can get to know the platform and the catalog, and can cancel the subscription later.

READ ALSO: Netflix will be the streaming leader in Latin America in the foreseeable future

HBO Max will have monthly, quarterly and annual subscription plans. In Brazil, the monthly subscription will cost BRL 19.97 (Mobile) and BRL 28.00 (Standard). Subscriptions for recurring periods of 3 or 12 months will be available with discounts of up to 30%.

The price of the monthly subscription to HBO Max in some Latin American countries:

Argentina: ARS 359 (Mobile) and ARS 529 (Standard);
Chile:CLP 4,900 (Mobile) and CLP 6,900 (Standard);
Colombia:COP 13,900 (Mobile) and COP 19,000 (Standard);
Mexico: MXN 99 (Mobile) and MXN 149 (Standard).