October 25, 2019
With several high-profile over-the-top video services launching next month, WarnerMedia’s pending HBO Max service is looking to cut through the clutter with bold subscriber predictions.
HBO Max, which doesn’t launch until Q1 2020, is eyeing 80 million subscribers by 2025 — including 50 million in the United States, CEO John Stankey told Reuters. He plans to roll HBO’s 35 million pay-TV subs into the service — a significant challenge considering HBO’s existing pay-TV license agreements.
The service, which will feature traditional HBO content, movies, original programming and “Friends” reruns, will be made available at launch free to AT&T’s HBO pay-TV subscribers.
“The success of HBO Max is built on the ability for the company to rationalize why [AT&T’s DirecTV and Time Warner] belong together,” Stankey said earlier this year.
AT&T, which is holding a Warner Media Day on Oct. 29 to discuss HBO Max, hasn’t disclosed a price for the service. It will reportedly offer an ad-supported cheaper option in 2021 similar to what Hulu offers.