Earlier this week, Netflix reported quarterly earnings results that showed its subscriber count fell for the first time in a decade, but not all streamers are experiencing that kind of pullback. Even though AT&T has moved HBO and the rest of WarnerMedia into its new home with Discovery, it still had one more set of subscriber numbers to reveal. with your own earnings report on Thursday morning.
The numbers showed that HBO added nearly 13 million subscribers last year on both traditional HBO and HBO Max, including growth of three million in the latest quarter. Now both services combine for 76.8 million subscribers worldwide, which is still dwarfed by Netflix’s 221.64 million subscribers and even Disney Plus’s most recent tally of 129.8 million. As we pointed out in January, HBO Max is doing very well…according to HBO Max.
At the end of the quarter, there were 76.8 million global HBO Max and HBO subscribers. HBO Max and HBO global subscribers were up 12.8 million year-over-year and up 3.0 million sequentially, primarily driven by international and domestic retail subscriber gains reflecting the strength of the programming slate. At the end of the quarter, there were 48.6 million domestic HBO Max and HBO subscribers versus 44.2 million in the prior year quarter, an increase of 4.4 million year over year.
We’ve come to the end of HBO Max’s day-and-date movie release strategy that ran through calendar year 2021, but it still has a pretty strong content library that includes new hits and options from the Warner Bros. catalog. Plus, Unlike Netflix, HBO still has a number of new territories it’s expanding into, so it could be a while before they face the problem of not having any more new customers to find.
AT&T CEO John Stankey is no longer the head of HBO, but he commented on password sharing, which Netflix identified as a problem stunting its growth. What Deadline Quoting him from the investor call, Stanke said: “We were thoughtful about how we built the product and gave customers enough flexibility, but we don’t want to see rampant abuse.” For more on the future of HBO Max (and the sudden death of CNN Plus), we’ll wait until next week, when Warner Bros. Discovery makes its first earnings call.