The Biggest Changes in Streaming You Need to Know About
With more and more people cutting the cord every year and switching to streaming entertainment, it’s no surprise that some of the biggest names in the industry—Netflix, Disney, YouTube TV, and HBO—are making significant moves and shaking things up! From rebrands, to new partnerships, to licensing deals worth millions of dollars a year, streaming entertainment news is hopping.
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Below we highlight some of the biggest changes to streaming entertainment happening now or coming soon that you need to be aware of. And when you’re ready to stream, try out our FREE streaming tool and start working your way through your watchlist!
HBO Max Is Now Just “Max”
We begin with HBO Max’s recent rebranding of itself to Max. This simplified renaming also coincides with HBO’s partnership with Discovery+ and its huge swath of entertainment, including children’s content, documentaries and reality programming. Insiders believe there are two main reasons for HBO Max’s rebranding.
First, by removing HBO from its name, Max is highlighting its vastly expanded content library, which now extends well beyond the prestige—and often quite edgy—adult dramas and savvy comedies HBO has been churning out for decades. The name change also deemphasizes HBO’s looming presence on the app, giving Max some breathing room to highlight content from Discovery+, which is quite different from HBO.
Thanks to its partnership with Discovery+, Max’s library now includes more children’s series, educational shows, and compelling documentaries—and plenty of “guilty pleasure” reality shows! Experts also believe the name was changed to “protect” HBO’s own brand as a “must watch,” water-cooler content maker. Thus, HBO’s distinct brand stands on its own, while Max can flourish as a streaming service with broader appeal.
And subscribers to the formerly-named HBO Max app don’t need to lift a finger to get Max! Effective late May 2023, the app was simply renamed to Max, and most subscribers didn’t even need to re-enter their login credentials.
NFL Sunday Ticket Is Now Available on YouTube TV
The biggest sports-related news to hit streamers is that DirectTV will no longer offer NFL Sunday Ticket, the flagship professional football broadcasting service that lets viewers watch just about any game no matter where they live. Instead, YouTube TV now has the contract for NFL Sunday Ticket to offer live NFL football games on your streaming devices.
NFL Sunday Ticket’s price tag is hefty, costing YouTube TV subscribers $249 per year (with a $100 savings offer for the first year). But football fans who can’t get enough of their favorite game just might decide that the freedom to watch their beloved teams no matter where they live is well worth the steep cost!
Netflix’s New Tiered Plans
After years of cracking down on password sharing, Netflix has recently implemented a new tiered system of plans. Netflix currently offers four streaming plans to choose from: Standard with Ads ($6.99), Basic ($9.99), Standard ($15.49), and Premium ($19.99). But there are critical distinctions between each tier that viewers need to understand.
First, the lowest tier (Basic) is ad-supported, meaning that Netflix’s Basic subscribers will see ads intermittently while streaming content. Secondly, each tier has a rising level of resolution and picture quality, with Basic at a less-impressive video quality up to 720p with high definition (HD), Standard at 1080p and Full HD, and Premium offering 4K Ultra HD and HDR, Netflix’s highest resolution. The Standard with Ads tier also has video quality up to 1080p with Full HD, just like Standard.
The other major change Netflix subscribers will see is the tighter limitations on sharing their passwords with other users. While Netflix users can share their accounts with people within the same household, accounts accessed outside of the subscriber’s household will be subject to an additional user fee of $7.99 per user. Note that the new extra user fee is only available for Standard and Premium subscribers, not for the ad-supported tiers.
Disney+ Content on Hulu
Disney, one of the most venerable names in family entertainment, is also making some significant changes to its streaming business. As part of a broader restructuring and streamlining, Disney+ has announced plans to combine with Hulu to form a single, “one-app” experience, effective late 2023 or early 2024.
This update means that subscribers will not need to switch between the two apps when looking for their respective content. As of now, three plans are offered, including two ad-supported plans of $9.99 per month for Disney+ and Hulu, and $12.99 a month for Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+. The most expensive plan will cost $19.99 a month for Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+, but will stream its content without ads, a major plus for many viewers.
Some of the changes above may take some getting used to, but because our FREE streaming tool organizes and simplifies your streaming navigation, you’ll be able to keep up with these changes easily. It’s just another way that our FREE streaming tool (MyBundle) improves your streaming experience while saving you money, too!