HBO Max was YouGov's most improved U.S. brand in 2022 -- largely attributable to its “quality” of content, in keeping with HBO's high brand standards that have been maintained since the mid 1980s.
YouGov's net index score for HBO Max rose 3.5 points to reach an 18.5 brand index score -- the best improvement overall among all U.S. brands -- for the 12-month period ended October 1 versus the same period a year before.HBO Max has improved its metrics in terms of quality and impressions, according to YouGov.
YouGov says TV series like “And Just Like That,” a sequel to “Sex in The City” -- as well as highly touted shows "Euphoria," "White Lotus" and "House of the Dragon" -- are major reasons for the higher index score.
However, HBO Max did not have the highest index score among all U.S. brands -- not even close. In the top-ten ranking of those improving brands, HBO Max came in at last place. The top brand index scores in this group were reached by Vaseline (39.6) followed by Lipton (37.2) and Google (36.6).
YouGov's index score comprises six brand-health metrics used to measure brand key performance indicators (KPIs) -- quality, value, impression, reputation, recommendation, and satisfaction. Its Best Brand Rankings come from monitoring more than 20,000 brands in hundreds of worldwide brand interviews among YouGov's consumer panel every day.
Given the massive cost savings -- and hard-hitting stock-market price losses at parent company Warner Bros. Discovery due to its recent merger -- this is good news.
The problem is that “quality” issues might be changing radically. Next year the parent company wants to add in somewhat lower-profile, less expensive, non-scripted content from discovery+ -- under what will most likely be a revamped brand to be called “Max.”
Take away the "HBO" brand name and what have you got? For many TV consumers that might mean another kind of service -- perhaps one that should not be charging $14.99 a month for a streaming service.
So that's the rub. The Warner Bros. Discovery corporate overlords at HBO Max need to generate much more money for their streaming services, which are destined to continue to be plagued with net losses in the coming years.
They also need to trim back on debt accumulated by their big merger.
What real sacrifices do they need to make?
Removing HBO from the platform title might not be a good move. HBO has considerable
brand equity with key subscription target audiences such as Boomers and Millennials.