HBO Max hits subscriber goal two years ahead of schedule

HBO Max has almost 40 million US subscribers, AT&T disclosed in its first quarter earnings report on Wednesday. Mixed with conventional HBO subscribers, the platform has surpassed a 41 million subscriber milestone the corporate says it didn’t count on to hit for 2 extra years. Globally, AT&T says HBO now has greater than 60 million subscribers.

There are just a few caveats price mentioning. For one, AT&T has totally different metrics for various ranges of its subscriber base. Complete subscribers contains not solely individuals who pay for a standalone subscription, but in addition these with entry to HBO Max both by way of an present HBO subscription by way of a cable firm or by way of a promotion by way of AT&T’s cell provider enterprise, no matter whether or not they’ve even downloaded the app. That whole subscriber quantity for the US market is the greater than 41 million determine AT&T is touting right now.

However of the 37.7 million HBO Max home subscribers on the market (the remaining few million being pay TV subscribers), about 17.2 million subscribers are thought of “activated,” AT&T’s time period for somebody who has downloaded the app and both signed up independently or upgraded an present subscription (or claimed a free one by way of promotion). Nonetheless, it’s a robust quantity in contrast with the tip of September, when HBO Max boasted 28.7 million subscribers, of which solely 8.6 million had been activated.

For context, Disney Plus hit more than 86 million subscribers in a bit over a 12 months, although it prices much less per 30 days than a standalone HBO Max subscription and launched with out a bogged-down rebrand of an present, cable-driven service.

In unsurprising trend, AT&T is crediting the expansion to its controversial decision to launch the movies of its subsidiary, Warner Bros., on HBO Max on the identical day they launch in theaters. “The discharge of Surprise Lady 1984 helped drive our home HBO Max and HBO subscribers to greater than 41 million, a full two years sooner than our preliminary forecast,” stated AT&T CEO John Stankey in a press release.

The Surprise Lady sequel is simply the primary of many deliberate movie releases on HBO Max that have been as soon as scheduled for unique theatrical home windows — till the coronavirus pandemic upended Hollywood. Excessive-profile movie administrators, together with of Warner Bros. releases just like the upcoming Dune adaptation and Tenet, have voiced their extreme disapproval of the decision.

However AT&T, which owns guardian firm WarnerMedia that oversees each HBO and Warner Bros., claims this technique is paying off, for now. There’s no telling but how the large funding in streaming will have an effect on Warner Bros.’ relationship with administrators like Denis Villeneuve and Christopher Nolan going ahead, and whether or not the HBO Max subscriber progress AT&T is attributing to Surprise Lady 1984 will proceed onward by way of the remainder of this 12 months’s launch slate.

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