Is Netflix Better Than HBO?

Photo: HBO
When it comes to original content, HBO has reigned supreme for years: from Game of Thrones to Sex and the City, the premium cable network has garnered legions of fans and plenty of awards. However, in recent years, HBO has faced some major competition: Netflix has elevated its programming with shows like Stranger Things and The OA — and TV lovers are here for it. Now, a new survey from Forrester says Netflix has actually pulled ahead in the popularity contest.

Forrester's research, which was reported by Business Insider, assessed the appeal of different TV services, including Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HBO Now. Of the people surveyed, 60% said that Netflix had "interesting original content." HBO Now, which provides viewers with both current and previous programming from the premium cable network, only appealed to 45%.

While I'm all about a good Netflix binge, I do have a theory as to why the Forrester survey skewed this way. Not only does Netflix have more programming — according to Business Insider, the streaming giant will produce 1,000 hours of original programming in 2017 — it also has programs that appeal to many different tastes. HBO has "a brand" — its most popular shows are typically cerebral, highly serialized dramas, like 2016's Westworld. Many people love it — but not everyone does.

As for Netflix, it has the ability to do anything it wants — a Netflix program doesn't have a particular feel. Fans who aren't into The OA can turn on Degrassi: Next Class for something wildly different.

Netflix may have won this round, but HBO isn't going anywhere. How could it? We still have two more seasons of Game of Thrones to go.
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