When Disney+ signaled that the age of exclusive streaming platforms has begun, other media giants ratcheted up their attempts to develop their own streaming playpens to be populated with what content library they could call their own. WarnerMedia was set on taking on their historical rival toe to toe with HBO Max, launched in May of 2020. At the time prospective audiences were wary of subscribing, due to how the new service was somewhat limited in genres compared to Disney+. The steaming premiere of “Wonder Woman 1984” helped HBO Max gain momentum coming into 2021, and it seems the surge of new subscribers remains steady.
Variety tells us that the first quarter of 2021 has shown very promising subscriber grown for HBO Max, with figures of nearly 3 million signing up in the course of January to March. At the end of that month the streaming service combined with the HBO channel had a combined domestic subscriber base of 44.2 million, or near 2.7 million added to the 41.5 million when 2020 came to an end. Apparently AT&T, parent company to WarnerMedia, was concerned that the subscription upsurge caused by “Wonder Woman” premiering on HBO Max last December would soon peter out. But it looks more to be further increasing.
The reasons for the platform’s growing customer base are not hard to find. After the hysteria of fans calling for the release of the “Snyder Cut,” DCEU followers got their wish and more thanks to the epically long “Zack Snyder’s Justice League,” which started streaming on HBO Max in March 18 but spurred plenty of signups in the days before its debut. Another blockbuster that drew in more binge-watchers and kept them around was Legendary Pictures’ “Godzilla vs. Kong,” which arrived March 31 simultaneously with its limited US cinema premiere.
As AT&T CEO John Starkey puts it, HBO Max has continued to deliver strong subscriber and revenue growth for Q1 2021. That bodes better for when the streaming service prepares to take its platform globally beginning in June, with launches planned in the Caribbean and Latin America, and parts of Europe by late this year. Usage statistics are also positive in their view, as individual subscribers are seen to spend an average two hours on HBO Max daily, beyond expectations.
Image courtesy of The Streamable