There was a total of 78.6 million HBO Max and HBO global subscribers at the close of the last quarter, marking an increase over the previous quarter as well as the same quarter in the year before. The last couple of years have been good to streaming services, partly due to more people having to remain at home and partly the result of a major shift towards offering direct-to-consumer products and services.
HBO Max originally launched in early 2020 and took over the helm from HBO. One of the immediate selling points of HBO Max was the price, considering a subscription cost exactly the same as the standard HBO service. As it offered significantly more content than the non-Max version, HBO Max immediately attracted the attention of many existing HBO Max subscribers, as well as those new to the service in general.
Since then, HBO Max has slowly but steadily increased its user base and that doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon. AT&T released its latest quarterly results today confirming that there were 76.8 million global HBO Max and HBO subscribers, as of the end of the first quarter of 2022. According to AT&T, this represented an increase of 3 million over the previous quarter and 12.8 million over the first quarter of 2021. In terms of the US, subscriber numbers were also up. The quarter closed with 48.6 million domestic HBO Max and HBO subscribers, resulting in an increase of 4.4 million when compared to the same quarter in 2021.
In explaining the latest increase in subscribers, AT&T pointed to the “strength of the programming slate” as well as its popularity in international markets. Over the past year, HBO Max has expanded its reach by launching in additional countries. Of course, what’s also likely to have helped is the launch of the ad-supported plan. This time last year, the only option available to HBO Max subscribers was the standard, ad-free $14.99 per month subscription. Later in 2021, however, the $9.99 plan launched and provided consumers with a more affordable way to access the service.
What’s possibly more important to note is the continued increase of subscribers in 2022 so far. Throughout last year, all of the major Warner Bros. movies became available to stream on HBO Max the same day they arrived in theaters. Although that subscription perk came to an end at the start of 2022, it doesn’t appear to have deterred consumers from signing up to HBO Max, or resulted in existing subscribers leaving the service.