Earlier this week, Netflix released quarterly results that showed its subscriber numbers were dropping for the first time in a decade, but not all streamers are experiencing that kind of pullback. Even as AT&T unloaded HBO and the rest of WarnerMedia into their new home with Discovery, it still had another set of subscriber numbers to reveal with its own earnings report Thursday morning.
The numbers show HBO added nearly 13 million subscribers last year on traditional HBO and HBO Max, including growth of three million last quarter. Now, the two 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 noted in January, HBO Max is doing well…according to HBO Max.
AT&T Q1 2022 Report:
At the end of the quarter, there were 76.8 million global subscribers to HBO Max and HBO. Global subscribers to HBO Max and HBO grew 12.8 million year-over-year and 3.0 million sequentially, driven primarily by international and domestic retail subscriber gains reflecting programming strength . At the end of the quarter, there were 48.6 million domestic subscribers to HBO Max and HBO compared to 44.2 million in the prior year quarter, up 4.4 million year-over-year .
We’ve come to the end of HBO Max’s strategy of day-and-date movie premieres that ran through calendar year 2021, but it still has a pretty solid library of content, including new achievements and options from the Warner Bros. catalog. Also, unlike Netflix, HBO still has a number of new territories it is expanding into, so it could be a while before they run into the problem of no more new customers to find.
AT&T CEO John Stankey is no longer the boss of HBO, but he made a point about password sharing, which Netflix has identified as an issue that is stunting its growth. Like Deadline quoted him on the investor call, Stanke said: “We thought about how we built the product and gave enough flexibility to customers, but we don’t want to see rampant abuse. ” For more information on the future of HBO Max (and the sudden death of CNN Plus), we’ll wait until next week, when Warner Bros. Discovery will hold its first earnings call.