Following a sluggish start, WarnerMedia’s subscription streaming video/AVOD platform HBO Max is running on all cylinders. New estimates from eMarketer suggest the SVOD service will reach 80 million subscribers by the end of the year. That’s up from previous projection of 100 million subs by 2025.
The research firm contends that WarnerMedia’s decision to consolidate the HBO Go and HBO Now platforms into Max helped drive up subscriptions. However, with Amazon last month announcing it would drop Max from its Prime Channels platform, industry scuttlebutt suggests the streamer could lose 5 million Max subs.
“The older streaming services HBO Go and Now have been replaced by Max, and HBO has been removed from Amazon Prime Video Channels,” analyst Ross Benes wrote in a post. “These developments allow Max to absorb viewership from various HBO domains that have either been shuttered or rebranded.”
Benes believes that with Max now available on Roku and Amazon Fire TV, a better picture has emerged regarding subscriber traction. Max’s sub additions were also bolstered by Warner Bros. Pictures releasing its new movies straight to the streaming service in 2021.
“Together, the shrinking theatrical window, clearer subscriber metrics from the company, improved distribution, and consolidated operations have helped HBO Max add viewers at a faster rate than we previously expected,” Benes wrote.