HBO and HBO Max have a worldwide subscriber base of about 61 million, a gain of about 4 million in the fourth quarter, AT&T disclosed Wednesday during in its fourth-quarter earnings release.
AT&T CEO John Stankey told Wall Street analysts Wednesday during the telco giant’s fourth quarter earnings call that the streaming platform is still feeling the pinch of pandemic-related production slowdowns. He said that the supply of new content in the first quarter is still “a bit of a stretch” but he expects that the pace of new additions will pick up by the second quarter when the company is looking to launch HBO Max in Latin America and an ad-supported version of the streaming platform.
AT&T touted strong subscriber growth for HBO Max during the quarter on the heels of the decision to send “Wonder Woman 1984” to the streaming platform for debut last month rather than the planned theatrical release for the tentpole sequel. In the third quarter, AT&T reported 57 million worldwide subscribers — a new metric for the company that counts only paying customers for HBO or HBO Max, not any free channels offered overseas or any Cinemax customers in the U.S. or abroad.
“We’re still fighting through dropping content at the right rate and pace as we want to,” Stankey said of HBO Max because producers have to “work around the limitations of a pandemic environment.” But he also sees improvement on the horizon. “Expectations are we hit our stride as we get into the second quarter,” he said.
More to come