If you’re an executive at AT&T-owned WarnerMedia, today is a very good day. That’s because its fledgling streaming service HBO Max added a massive 2.8 million subscribers in Q2 2021, reports Yahoo Finance. This is the second surge of subscribers HBO Max has seen this year, adding another 2.7 million just last quarter.
With its 2.8 million Q2 2021 subscribers, HBO Max now has 47 million subscribers in the United States, and a total of 67 million subscribers worldwide. That’s not bad at all considering HBO Max is just over a year old and launched with comparatively less content than Disney Plus or Netflix.
One of the reasons for HBO Max’s subscriber surge is likely the fact that Warner Bros. is releasing all its big tentpole movies day-and-date this year. That means the day they come out in theaters is also the day they arrive for streaming on HBO Max. While many thought theaters would be booming by this time due to the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, with the delta variant spreading, it seems movie fans are happy to stay home and watch new content from the safety of their living room if that option is available.
In other words, Warner Bros.’ day-and-date HBO Max strategy seems to have paid off big time. This is all the more impressive considering HBO Max is $14.99 per month, almost double that of Disney Plus’s monthly rate, and more expensive than Netflix’s two entry-level plans. People are obviously willing to shell out more for a service that offers new blockbusters like Godzilla vs. Kong and Mortal Kombat. Upcoming blockbusters include the likes of The Suicide Squad and Dune.
But for those keeping track, Netflix is still the streaming king with 209 million subscribers worldwide. Disney Plus follows at 104 million subscribers worldwide. But in further signs of AT&T’s confidence in HBO Max, the company announced it is raising its 2021 subscriber estimates for the streaming service. Originally the company forecasted HBO Max to have between 67 and 70 million subscribers by the end of 2021. Now those forecasts have been revised to between 70 and 73 million subscribers.
AT&T announced in May that it is spinning off WarnerMedia into a separate company that is merging with Discovery.