The services have gained 1.7 million subscribers in the last six months, despite HBO Max’s launch taking place on 27th May. The figure is 5% higher than that of the ending of 2019. Warner Media hopes to reach 50 million-55 million HBO Max customers in the country by 2025.
According to AT&T’s second-quarter earnings report, HBO and new WarnerMedia-owned streaming service HBO Max have generated 36.3 million subscribers together as of 30th June. According to the media conglomerate, the figure reflects a 5% increase from its 34.6 million subscriber count at the end of December. “Our solid execution and focus in a challenging environment delivered significant progress in the quarter, most notably the successful launch of HBO Max, resilient free cash flow and a strengthened balance sheet,” AT&T CEO, John Stankey said in a statement.
The services have gained 1.7 million subscribers in the last six months, despite HBO Max’s launch taking place on 27th May. In comparison, Disney+ drew 25 million subscribers during its three-month post-launch. AT&T CEO John Stankey said HBO received 3 million retail subscribers during the quarter since its 27th May launch and 4.1 million total activations of the HBO Max app across the existing HBO subscriber base. “Customer engagement has exceeded our expectations,” Stankey said.
HBO Max’s initial subscriptions were generated from previous bundles and free trial offers offered by AT&T and the prelaunch promotional pricing. WarnerMedia signed more than a dozen distribution deals for HBO Max with giant media partners, including Apple, Google/YouTube TV, Hulu, Samsung, and Comcast. The premium HBO Max streaming service debuted with more than 10,000 hours of TV shows, movies, and other programming.
WarnerMedia’s goal is to reach 50 million-55 million HBO Max customers in the U.S. by 2025, find international expansion plans and officially execute the rollout of a cheaper, ad-supported tier in 2021. The company plans to invest USD 4 billion into HBO Max over the next three years.
Stankey also highlighted that HBO Max weekly streaming hours on average are 70% higher than HBO Now. He noted that WarnerMedia-owned shows are among the most-watched programs on the service, and also claimed customer satisfaction for HBO Max is double that of AT&T’s legacy TV services.
Despite him referring to the service as a “flawless launch,” the HBO brands received criticism about it causing interruptions in the distribution of Amazon and Roku. Many HBO subscribers were automatically given a Max subscription when the service launched at no additional cost. “Our resilient cash from operations continues to support investments in growth areas, dividend payments, and debt retirement. We are aggressively working opportunities to sharpen our focus, transform our operations, and continue investing in growth areas, with the customer at the center of everything we do.”
We are aggressively working opportunities to sharpen our focus, transform our operations, and continue investing in growth areas, with the customer at the center of everything we do.” John Stankey AT&T CEO