Streaming ServicesMaxStarzComparison

Max vs. STARZ in 2024: Which Service Is Better for You?

By Staff• Edited by Lisa Holden • Updated Dec 07, 2023

Max and STARZ are 2 of the biggest names in pay-TV over the past 30+ years, producing original content and bringing theatrical releases into the home. But do their streaming services live up to their reputations? We pit Max vs. STARZ to see which one — or if either of them — is worth your time and money.


Try 7 days free

$8.99 / month
On demand content
Stream on four screens

Max vs. STARZ compared

Base Price (month)Ad-supported: $9.99/month
Ad-free: $15.99/month Ultimate Ad-free: $19.99/month$8.99
Free TrialNoneNone
Simultaneous Streams2 with Ad-supported and Ad-free, 4 with Ultimate Ad-free4
On-Demand Content- The Last of Us
  • Euphoria
  • The White Lotus | _- Power
  • P-Valley
  • Outlander_ | | Live Channels | None | STARZ linear channels | | Local Channels | None | None | | Sports Channels | None (Has live soccer matches) | None |

Pricing and plans

In terms of price alone, STARZ is the better deal. There is only one plan to choose from and it is ad-free.

Max’s cheapest plan only costs a dollar more a month than STARZ, but that’s for the ad-supported version. If you want an ad-free experience, you’ll need to pay an additional $5/month at least.

On demand content
Stream on four screens

Channels compared: Max vs. STARZ

Both Max and STARZ are on-demand streaming services, so you won’t find a long list of channels on either.

Max does not include access to the linear HBO channels, but all of the content that airs on HBO’s linear channels becomes available on Max.

Your STARZ subscription includes access to the linear channels that STARZ broadcasts over cable and satellite TV. These include the main STARZ channel, as well as STARZ Cinema, STARZ Comedy, STARZ Edge and more.

Source: STARZ

Local channels compared

Neither Max or STARZ offers local channels. If you’re looking for local TV, you can get Max and STARZ as an add-on to live-TV streamers like Sling TV or Hulu + Live TV.

If you don’t want to dish out the cash for a live-TV streamer, consider getting an OTA DVR to watch and record local TV channels for free.

Sports channels compared

While Max doesn’t offer add-ons like NFL RedZone or MLB Network, it made history recently by streaming its first-ever live domestic sporting event. The US Women’s Soccer National Team beat New Zealand 4-0 in the first live sports broadcast on Max.

TNT/TBS and Max struck a deal with the US Soccer Federation to exclusively air 20+ Women’s and Men’s National Team matches every year for 8 years.

Source: Max

Focused on movies and TV shows, STARZ doesn’t currently offer any live sports. There is also no option to add a sports network or channels. So, if you’re looking for sports on STARZ, you’ll have to make due with The Longest Yard, All the Right Moves or Will Smith in Concussion — or give Baseketball a shot.

Which has the better on-demand library?

Max boasts 35,000+ hours of movies, TV shows and exclusive programming. From Oz to The Sopranos to Sex and the City, HBO has been making groundbreaking original content for decades. It was the most-nominated network at last year’s Emmys, with smash-hit originals like Succession, Euphoria and The White Lotus. Plus, the much-anticipated video game adaptation of Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us just premiered on January 15th to rave reviews.

STARZ only began producing original content in 2005 and doesn’t have as many award-winners as HBO. But it’s originals include the long-running historical drama Outlander, the Power crime drama franchise, and new horror-comedy Shining Vale.

Owned by entertainment giant Lionsgate, STARZ has first-run film licensing agreements with Sony Pictures (and its many subsidiaries), as well as agreements with most other major studios, including Disney, Warner Bros, Universal, MGM, Paramount and more.

Max With Ads

$9.99 / month
On demand content
Stream on two screens
HD video quality

Max Ad-Free

$15.99 / month
No ads
On demand content
Stream on two screens
Offline viewing

Max Ultimate Ad-Free

$19.99 / month
No ads
HD and 4K video quality
Stream on four screens
Offline viewing

Do both services have a free trial?

Neither streaming service offers a free trial when signing up directly, but there are ways to get a free trial through other platforms.

Max doesn’t offer a free trial if you sign up through or its app. However, you can get Max free for 7 days when signing up though Amazon Prime Video Channels, which has a 30-day free trial of its own. By signing up for any DirecTV Stream package, you can get Max free for 3 months. And if you already subscribe to DirecTV Stream, you can get 2 months free by adding it to your existing plan.

Similarly, STARZ doesn’t offer a free trial through its website, although it currently offers 44% off your first month. You can get a 7-day free trial of STARZ by signing up through other streaming platforms, like Hulu and Amazon Prime Video, or with your Roku device. You can also get 3 months free of STARZ when signing up for DirecTV Stream.

Other features compared

There are other things besides price and content to consider when choosing a streaming service. Here’s how Max and STARZ matchup in terms of cloud DVR, offline viewing, number of streams and the devices they support.

Cloud DVR

As Max and STARZ are both primarily on-demand streaming services, neither of them offers a cloud DVR. This is typical for these types of streamers as everything gets added to the on-demand libraries.

Offline viewing

Max lets you download most of its TV shows and movies in the mobile app. However, downloading only comes with the ad-free plan and ultimate ad-free plan, which costs about 50% more.

Max lets you have 30 or 100 active downloads at once across all your profiles and devices, depending on your plan. Once you start watching a download, you have 48 hours until it expires. However, expired downloads can be renewed.

STARZ recently got on board with offline viewing and now lets you download movies and TV shows in the STARZ mobile app.

Simultaneous streams

Max offers 2 simultaneous streams with both its ad-supported and ad-free packages, and 4 simultaneous streams with its ultimate ad-free package.

STARZ has a slight edge here, letting you watch on 4 devices at once with its base package.

Supported devices

Max and STARZ both offer solid device support, including Android, iOS and Fire Tablet for mobile, and Apple TV, Fire TV and Roku for streaming devices.

If you’re looking to watch on a gaming console, Max supports both Xbox and PlayStation, while STARZ only supports Xbox.

Both support select smart TVs by LG, Samsung and Vizio, while Max additionally supports some Hisense and STARZ supports some Sony TVs.

If you don’t have a compatible streaming device or TV, you can always use Airplay or Chromecast from your mobile app to watch Max or STARZ on your TV.

Our verdict: Max is better than STARZ

Max is such a powerhouse when it comes to high-caliber, original content, it’s tough to compete with in terms of TV shows. So if you’re looking for series to get lost in, Max is the way to go. It’s also got a solid lineup of licensed movies in its library.

However, if you’re for a large selection of ad-free movies for under 10 bucks a month, STARZ is worth a look.

Douglas WrightAuthor

Douglas Wright is a freelance writer based in Japan. A former web designer and technical writer, he left beautiful Vancouver for bustling Tokyo, where he spent a decade recruiting for software and high-tech firms. No longer commuting through the world’s busiest train station, he writes fiction and a wide range of formats for clients around the world. When he gets AFK, he’s either outdoors with his two boys, streaming a show with his wife, or reading a book over a French-pressed, hand-ground coffee.

Lisa HoldenEditor

Lisa Holden is an editor and creative based in Houston, TX. Lisa holds a BA in African-American Studies from Temple University and has spent her career working in news publications and magazines, even founding a magazine herself. When she’s not editing or working on one of her many creative endeavors (whenever that is), she enjoys traveling to new places and biking on sunny days.

If you choose to subscribe to a streaming service we recommend as a result of our research, analysis, and curation, our work is sometimes (but not always) supported by an affiliate commission from the streaming service when you make a purchase.