HBO Max has successfully gained more than 4.1 million signups in the first month since its launch on May 27. At&T, the parent company of the streaming platform, said that HBO and HBO Max accumulated a combined 36.3 million subscribers by the end of June. Roughly 3 million retail customers along with another million wholesale active subscribers have brought the hype to the new service.
Though the subscription count does not look impressive if compared with other streaming platforms like Disney+ and Apple TV+. Disney+ shattered a record of 10M subscribers in the first 24 hours of its launch and had 50M customers in less than a half year. Whereas Apple TV+ was able to rack up 33.6M customers in the U.S. alone by the end of 2019, following its November launch.
However, the streaming company hopes to reach 50 million HBO Max customers in the U.S. by 2025. AT&T’s CEO, John Stankey says that we are also planning to expand the streaming services on the international market and WarnerMedia will invest $4 billion in HBO Max business for the next three years.
As per AT&T, HBO has 23.6 million wholesale subscribers but only 1 million of its subscribers activated the HBO Max app even though the subscription is free for the HBO customers.
Approximately 5.9 million HBO subscriber does not have the access to HBO Max as they are receiving HBO through a Multichannel Video Programming Distributor (MVPD) that does not have the rights to stream HBO Max without the permission of WarnerMedia. These subscribers are receiving HBO through Roku or Amazon Fire TV, the two distributors that have direct contracts with WarnerMedia.
Roku and Amazon have been the biggest hurdle in the way of HBO Max as the new streaming platform is finding it difficult to have more audience. Both the distributors account for up to 70% of the U.S. streaming market and HBO Max is not available on either Roku and Amazon Fire TV.
WarnerMedia is trying its best to make both Roku and Amazon agree on getting HBO Max on their devices. John Stankey, says that while negotiation we felt that “Amazon has taken an approach of treating HBO Max and its customers differently than other services and their customers.”
Amazon and Roku are not ready to give HBO Max the independence that it is asking for. Rather they want the streaming service to be a part of their growing streaming business. Currently, HBO and HBO Now are part of Amazon and Roku. WarnerMedia is thinking to leave both the channels to see how the new service will perform with independence.
HBO Max vs. competitors
Beside Disney+ and Apple TV+, Hulu, Peacock, and Netflix are one of the biggest streaming competitors of HBO Max. No doubt, Netflix is on top of all players with pretty good subscription hits even in the times of the global downturn.
Netflix has plenty of well-known TV shows and movies and it also has its proud series of original exclusives and series like Stranger Things.
HBO Max has many shows and movies that people want to watch. Stankey says that HBO Max will soon become the big hit as it has the most interesting content from HBO and some movies and TV series from Warner Bros.
The company started with the streaming of all eight The Harry Potter movies which will be disappearing from HBO Max by August 25. It is now planning to add a few new titles that include Batman movies, Birds of prey, Blade Runner: The Final Cut, Jojo Rabbit, Richard Jewell, and many other big shows.
Almost 21 new series are being planned to stream on HBO Max next month. Among these shows, only six have been assembled so far because of the pandemic.
HBO Max comparatively is one expensive streaming services available in the market as it has started with a subscription of $14.99 per month. In contrast, Disney+ started with just $6.99 per month. It might be the reason that it does not get many subscribers in the first month or maybe because of being launched during the pandemic.
Featured image: WarnerMedia