HBO Max No. 3 SVOD in Spain Since Launching in October

Just a month after launch, HBO Max is reportedly the No. 3 streaming service in Spain, according to published data from Smartme Analytics.

WarnerMedia in late October launched HBO Max in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Spain and Andorra as part of a broader European rollout in 2022.

One month later, Max already has nearly 5% market penetration. The successor to HBO España, Max passed Disney+, which has 4.3% market penetration. Disney+ launched in Europe in March 2020. 

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Assisting Max’s rollout will be a 50% price cut on the standard €8.99 ($10.40) monthly fee through Nov. 30 for the lifetime of the subscription, unless canceled.

Spain’s SVOD market leader continues to be Netflix with 20.7% market share, followed by Amazon Prime Video with 8.7% share.

Samba TV: Netflix’s ‘Tiger King 2’ Debut Tracked 1.3 Million U.S. Households

The premiere of the second season of Netflix’s “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness,” showcasing the dysfunctional world of big cat collectors, generated more than 1.3 million U.S. households following its Nov. 17 debut, according to new data from Samba TV.

The data firm, which tracks more than 46 million opted-in televisions globally, including 28 million in the United States, said the episode topped the launch of Warner Bros. Pictures’ King Richard, the Will Smith-starring biopic about the father of tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams.

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The movie tracked 707,000 U.S. households on HBO Max while simultaneously screening in theaters, where it sold $5.4 million worth of tickets domestically, $7.8 million worldwide.

Samba said the U.S. “Tiger King 2” audience skewed slightly female (+2%), younger (44 years and younger), and white (+9%). The King Richard audience skewed female (+7%) and black (+54%).

Finally, 116,000 U.S. households streamed the first episode of “The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip” on Peacock, with 102,000 households streaming episode two. The third episode was streamed by 92,000 homes, with 100,000 households streaming episode four. The audiences skewed female and white.

‘Ron’s Gone Wrong’ Headed to Both Disney+ and HBO Max Dec. 15

Diensy-owned 20th Century Studios’ animated theatrical comedy Ron’s Gone Wrong is set to stream on both Disney+ and WarnerMedia’s HBO Max, in addition to digital retail channels, beginning Dec. 15. The action adventure, featuring the voices of Jack Dylan Grazer, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms and Olivia Colman, generated $22 million domestically, $57.5 million worldwide.

As previously announced, the movie, about a socially awkward middle-schooler who receives a malfunctioning, digitally connected device that’s supposed to be his “best friend out of the box,” will be available a week earlier on DVD and Blu-ray Disc, beginning Dec. 7. It will be available for digital purchase starting Dec. 15, the same day it debuts on the subscription platforms.

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The unusual co-existing streaming access on both Disney+ and HBO Max is part of WarnerMedia’s amended Pay 1 distribution deal through 2022 with the former 20th Century Fox Studios (now 20th Century Studios) and existing Searchlight Pictures Disney acquired for $71 million in 2017.

Netflix (Again) Dominates Weekly Nielsen Streaming Ratings as WarnerMedia Seeks Alternate Data Source

Netflix original series, movies and licensed content again dominated Nielsen’s weekly streaming Top 10 through Oct. 24 — spearheaded by series “You,” “Squid Game” and “Maid,” which collectively generated more than 4.8 billion minutes across 49 episodes.

Disney+ and Netflix evenly split the top-streamed movies, with the former’s Black Widow (269 million minutes) and Hocus Pocus (237 million) edging out the SVOD pioneer’s The Forgotten Battle (216 million) and Going in Style (210 million), respectively.

While Netflix has dominated the Nielsen chart since it launched last year, the streamer this week announced it would be releasing its own weekly charts every Tuesday. The move comes as some distributors have questioned Nielsen’s data, and WarnerMedia went so far as to remove itself (i.e. HBO Max) from Nielsen as its plans to launch a proprietary measurement service.

Nielsen currently tracks Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+ and Netflix.

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“We’re doing this because we believe that there has got to be a better alternative in measurement solutions, and we have a responsibility to our investments, to our clients and partners, and to counting the value of our audience,” Andrea Zapata, head of research, data and insights at WarnerMedia, said in a statement.

The company’s displeasure with Nielsen dates back to at least last Christmas when it had Nielsen re-issue weekly streaming charts to account for Warner Bros. Pictures’ Wonder Woman 1984 concurrent Christmas Day release in theaters and on HBO Max.

Regardless, Max content has rarely cracked the Nielsen charts, which prompted Netflix’s Reed Hastings in a June tweet to chide WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar about joining the party.

Kilar responded that WarnerMedia episodic programing dominated Nielsen’s linear broadcast ratings, underscoring the fact that broadcast TV still dominates the majority of viewership attention.

“Proud to serve customers in whatever way they choose [to consume],” Kilar responded.

Top combined TV show (original, licensed) and movie:

Source: Nielsen Streaming Content Ratings (Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, Netflix and Apple TV+), Nielsen National TV Panel, U.S. Viewing through Television.

 

Top movie:

Rank
 

SVOD Provider

 

Program Name

 

Number

 

Minutes Streamed
(Millions)

1 Disney+ Black Widow 1 269
2 Disney+ Hocus Pocus 1 237
3 Netflix The Forgotten Battle 1 216
4 Netflix Going In Style 1 210
5 Netflix Night Teeth (2021) 1 188
6 Disney+ The Nightmare Before Christmas 1 168
7 Disney+ Luca (2021) 1 150
8 Disney+ Moana 1 134
9 Netflix Titanic (1997) 1 117
10 Netflix My Little Pony: A New Generation 1 109

AT&T CFO: HBO Max Becoming ‘Top Two’ SVOD Competitor in Europe

HBO Max only began rolling out its subscription streaming video platform in Europe in September, with additional markets in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Spain and Andorra launched last month. The venerable brand is apparently resonating with European consumers.

Speaking Nov. 18 at the Morgan Stanley European Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in Dallas, AT&T CFO Pascal Desroches said Max has generated so much interest that it now rates highly in a SVOD market that includes Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video, among others. Desroches said that trends are in line with AT&T’s expectations.

AT&T CFO Pascal Desroches

“In fact, while it is still early, the initial data suggests that in most international markets Max is rising to become a top two direct-to-consumer provider in terms of subscribers and revenue,” Desroches said.

Given this, the executive said he feels good about Max’s global positioning and remains confident in its longer-term global expansion. AT&T now expects HBO and HBO Max to track between 120 million and 150 million subscribers worldwide by the end of 2025.

Strong numbers as AT&T attempts to finalize a minority ownership/majority control asset sale to WarnerMedia to Discovery Inc. Desroches said he continues to expect the transaction to close by mid-2022.

HBO Max to Stream ‘Harry Potter’ Retrospective With Franchise Stars New Year’s Day

Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson will join filmmaker Chris Columbus and other cast members from the eight “Harry Potter” films for the retrospective special Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts streaming on HBO Max beginning at midnight Jan. 1.

The retrospective celebrates the anniversary of the franchise’s first film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which premiered 20 years ago on Nov. 16. 

The special will also debut on TBS and Cartoon Network in spring 2022 ahead of the Warner Bros. Pictures theatrical debut of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore and will roll out globally with more details to come.
 
Alumni of the film franchise will join the tribute, including Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Isaacs, Gary Oldman, Imelda Staunton, Tom Felton, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps, Mark Williams, Bonnie Wright, Alfred Enoch, Matthew Lewis, Evanna Lynch and Ian Hart, among others.

The program will include making-of segments and interviews and will also celebrate the legacy of the “Harry Potter” film franchise.
 
“It has been an incredible journey since the debut of the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone film, and witnessing how it has evolved into this remarkable interconnected universe has been magical to say the least,” Tom Ascheim, president of Warner Bros. Global Kids, Young Adults and Classics, said in a statement. “This retrospective is a tribute to everyone whose lives were touched by this cultural phenomenon — from the talented cast and crew who poured their heart and soul into this extraordinary film franchise to the passionate fans who continue to keep the Wizarding World spirit alive 20 years later.”  

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Produced by Warner Bros. Unscripted Television in association with Warner Horizon at the iconic Warner Bros. Studio Tour London — The Making of Harry Potter, Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts is executive produced by Casey Patterson of Casey Patterson Entertainment (A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote) and Pulse Films (Beastie Boys Story).

“There’s magic in the air here with this incredible cast, as they all return home to the original sets of Hogwarts, where they began 20 years ago,” said executive producer Casey Patterson. “The excitement is palpable as they prepare to take their fans on a very special and personal journey, through the making of these incredible films.”

Viewers can check out 20th anniversary hub content on WizardingWorld.com. An exclusive first look at the special will debut during the premiere of “Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses” on Nov. 28 (8 p.m. ET/PT) on TBS and Cartoon Network. The bracket-style quiz competition, hosted by Helen Mirren, features fans competing to take home the Tournament of Houses championship trophy and cameos by Harry Potter film alumni Tom Felton, Simon Fisher-Becker, Shirley Henderson and Luke Youngblood, as well as superfans Pete Davidson and Jay Leno. The four-part competition event will also begin streaming on HBO Max on Jan. 1.

 

Roku Bowing $15 Streaming Device, Special HBO Max, Redbox Pricing for Black Friday

Roku is rolling several promotions and pricing for the upcoming post-Thanksgiving Black Friday retail event.

The subscription streaming video market co-founder Nov. 15 announced that the $15 Roku LE streaming player will be available exclusively at Walmart for Black Friday while supplies last. The Roku LE streaming player will be available online at Walmart.com on Nov. 24 and in-store on Nov. 26, while supplies last.

Roku is also taking $20 off the 4K Roku streaming stick ($49.99 MSRP); $15 off the Roku Premiere ($34.99 MSRP), $15 off the Roku Streaming Stick+ ($44.99 MSRP), and $50 off the Roku Streambar ($129.99 MSRP), available online and in-store across major retailers nationwide.

For a limited time, Roku is offering promotional 99-cents subscriptions (for the first two months) to more than 20 third-party platforms, including AMC+, Epix, Showtime and Starz. The special pricing is redeemable through The Roku Channel beginning Nov. 20 until Nov. 30, 2021.

In addition, new HBO Max subscribers will be eligible for a 30-day free trial when they purchase and activate a new Roku streaming device before Jan. 14, 2022.

Roku is also offering a $5 Redbox offer on all Roku players sold at Walmart, including the Roku LE. Consumers can redeem a special code by downloading the Redbox app via their Roku player and the credit is immediately available to use towards movie rentals.

‘Sex and the City’ Relaunch ‘And Just Like That …’ to Debut Dec. 9 on HBO Max

The 10-episode Max original series “And Just Like That …” will debut with two episodes Dec. 9 on HBO Max.

The following eight episodes will premiere weekly on subsequent Thursdays.

The new chapter of the HBO series “Sex and the City,” from executive producer Michael Patrick King, follows Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis) as they navigate the journey from the complicated reality of life and friendship in their 30s to the even more complicated reality of life and friendship in their 50s. 

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The series also includes previously announced cast members Sara Ramírez, Sarita Choudhury, Nicole Ari Parker, Karen Pittman, Chris Noth, Mario Cantone, David Eigenberg, Willie Garson and Evan Handler.
 
The HBO series “Sex and the City” was created by Darren Star and based on the book “Sex and the City” by Candace Bushnell.

 

HBO Max’s ‘Selena + Chef’ Renewed for Fourth Season

The Max Original cooking show “Selena + Chef,”  starring Selena Gomez, has been renewed for a fourth season on HBO Max.

The new season is slated to premiere next year.

The final four episodes of season three debuted Nov. 11 and feature chefs Jamie Oliver, Sophia Roe, Esther Choi and Gabe Kennedy.
 
Season four will take place at a beach house where Selena will continue to learn the joys of cooking with all-star chefs. As in its first three seasons, each chef will highlight a different charity each episode.

To date, the series has raised $400,000 for 26 nonprofit organizations. 

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“I am looking forward to another season of being in the kitchen with some of the world’s best chefs,” Gomez said in a statement. “Hopefully, my skills have improved. More importantly, we’ve been able to raise money for incredible charitable organizations.”
 
“We are thrilled to continue this delicious series for season four and even more excited to take it to a new setting,” Jennifer O’Connell, EVP of non-fiction and live-action family at HBO Max, said in a statement. “The beach vibes will absolutely take it to the next level and we can’t wait to see what recipes Selena and the chefs cook up next.”

Final Season of ‘Search Party’ Hits HBO Max Jan. 7

The Max Original comedy series “Search Party” returns to HBO Max for its fifth and final season Jan. 7, with all 10 episodes available to binge.

In the new season, Dory (Alia Shawkat) enters a very public business partnership with charismatic tech billionaire Tunnel Quinn (Jeff Goldblum) on the other side of her near-death experience. Dory folds her old friends Portia (Meredith Hagner), Elliott (John Early) and Drew (John Reynolds) into the venture as they embark on an altruistic but terrifying journey.

Joining the cast are recurring guest stars Kathy Griffin, John Waters, Aparna Nancherla, Angela Trimbur, Grace Kuhlenschmidt, Greta Titelman, Joe Castle Baker, Larry Owens and Michelle Badillo. Returning recurring guest stars include Jeffery Self and Clare McNulty.

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