Why are all the streaming services blue now?

Streaming service logos
(Image credit: Future)

Last month, HBO Max revealed what would swiftly become one of the most roasted rebrands of the year. With the dropping of the 'HBO', the service is now simply Max – a move many have described as a (less successful) version of Facebook famously dropping the 'The'. And now another aspect of the new identity is coming under fire.

Today's the day that HBO Max has become, simply, Max. Unveiled by Warner Bros in April, the platform now combines the offerings of Discovery+ and the original HBO Max. And users are not only mourning the loss of the HBO name (and the prestige it signifies), but also the purple brand colour. Because now, like seemingly every other streaming platform, Max is blue. (Looking for design inspiration? Check out the best logos of all time.)

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Perhaps in an attempt to differentiate themselves from Netflix, the likes of Max, Disney+ Prime Video and Paramount+ are all a similar shade of blue. It's all well and good standing out from the competition, except when the rest of the competition has the exact the same idea. How long until Netflix decides to go blue too?

And it's not only the somewhat dull visual homogeny that's troubling users. Similar branding means similar app icons – and that's a recipe for confusion on smartphone homescreens. Just like those bafflingly similar Google Workspace logos, all of those blue icons to tend to blend together. 

Perhaps part of the problem is that blue is hardly a colour that screams entertainment. There's something formal and somewhat clinical about it – indeed, as Imagibrand says, "the colour is highly associated with responsibility and is therefore regarded as representing reliability. For good reason, the insurance industry has widely embraced this colour to represent their brand."  

Indeed, it's clear that we're very much not looking at the most popular rebrand of 2023. But hey, at least the Max logo itself is pretty inoffensive – and legible, unlike the new Kia logo.

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Daniel Piper
Senior News Editor

Daniel Piper is Creative Bloq’s Senior News Editor. As the brand’s Apple authority, he covers all things Mac, iPhone, iPad and the rest. He also reports on the worlds of design, branding and tech. Daniel joined Future in 2020 (an eventful year, to say the least) after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more. Outside of Future, Daniel is a global poetry slam champion and has performed at festivals including Latitude, Bestival and more. He is the author of Arbitrary and Unnecessary: The Selected Works of Daniel Piper (Selected by Daniel Piper).