HBO Max launched last week and became the latest major streaming service to enter the marketplace. WarnerMedia is looking to compete with the likes of Netflix. Like other services, the big draw is exclusive, marquee content. While HBO shows such as Game of Thrones and old favorites like Friends were widely advertised as anchors for the service, it is a pair of originals aimed at younger viewers, Looney Tunes Cartoons and The Not-Too-Late Show With Elmo that have accounted for the most demand.

According to data collected by Parrot Analytics, Looney Tunes Cartoons was the most popular show on HBO Max in its first week. The Not-Too-Late Show With Elmo was behind it. Anna Kendrick's Love Life was in third place. Much like Netflix, HBO Max has yet to reveal any official viewership data. Though it is early days and even if they intend to do so in the future, it will probably take some time. Be that as it may, even though we don't have firm numbers, this is telling for a few reasons.

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For one, Looney Tunes Cartoons becoming the biggest hit on the service is nothing shy of a surprise but should encourage the company as it means their original programming strategy is working, at least for now. The Not Too Late Show with Elmo helps to further cement HBO Max as a streaming service that might be viewed as essential for families, which is a market that Disney+ has seemingly cornered quite well since its launch in November. Still, it is nonetheless shocking that A-list shows such as Game of Thrones, The Sopranos and Sex and the City trail so far behind Bugs Bunny and his pals.

Looking at the bigger picture, the data collected suggests none of these shows comes anywhere near matching the demand that Disney+ garnered for The Mandalorian. The live-action Star Wars show debuted as a launch title with the service last year and proved to be a massive hit right out the gate. It is also worth mentioning that Disney+ costs $6.99 per month or $69.99 annually. HBO Max, on the other hand, is quite a bit more expensive at $14.99. Though it does contain more content overall. The sreaming service doesn't feature 4K streaming and doesn't have apps available on Amazon Fire TV or Roku devices, which is working against it for now.

But we are just a week into a long-term play for WarnerMedia. The future of content will largely be dominated by streaming and these companies are invested in carving out their piece of the pie. More premium content is coming down the pipeline in the coming months. Most notably, Zack Snyder's Justice League, aka the Snyder Cut, is set to debut on the service sometime next year. A Game of Thrones spin-off is also currently in the works that will be available for subscribers when it launches. This news comes to us via Bloomberg.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott