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HBO Max Adds 1.6 Million U.S. Subscribers in Q4 2021, Hitting 46.8 Million - WarnerMedia Merger Expected in Q2

Jeff Kotuby

In Q4 2021, HBO Max added 1.6 million subscribers in the U.S. for a total of 46.8 million, increasing from their Q3 total of 45.2 million. In total, HBO Max added 5.3 million subscribers domestically in 2021.

In an SEC filing earlier this month, AT&T disclosed that HBO Max and HBO had a combined 73.8 million global subscribers as of the end of 2021. The company added 4.4 million global subscribers in the fourth quarter and nearly 12.8 million in 2021. With the growth, the company says they were “ahead of management’s prior guidance that end-of-year subscribers would be at the high end of its 70 million to 73 million subscriber target.”

AT&T also reported the WarnerMedia merger with Discovery should wrap up in Q2 of this year. How that impacts subscribers remains to be seen. When the deal is done, AT&T will own 71% of the new company; Discovery takes over operational control.

This comes against the backdrop of Netflix alerting investors that its growth has slowed substantially. While they added 8.5 million subscribers worldwide in the quarter, almost twice that of HBO Max, they added just 1.19 million in the U.S. and Canada. But spooking investors was Netflix’s forecast of just 2.5 million subscribers in Q1 across all territories.

For HBO Max though, 2022 was a banner year, as it saw its market share rise exponentially, thanks in part to its strong content lineup throughout the year.

In what seems like an eternity ago, HBO Max released films like “Godzilla vs. Kong,” “Mortal Kombat,” “The Suicide Squad,” and “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” right to the streaming platform to great success. HBO Max added the most subscribers in Q1 2021 among all streaming services, and kept the good vibes going all year, despite a slight drop in subscribers for Q3, which was the result of HBO Max’s removal from Amazon Channels.

In December, HBO Max released the newest installment to the “Matrix” franchise, “The Matrix Resurrections.” While the film wasn’t exactly a critical hit, it was viewed by 2.8 million people during its first available streaming weekend, according to a report by Variety Intelligence Platform and helped HBO Max to its most-viewed month ever in December 2021. HBO Max can also thank acclaimed originals like “And Just Like That…” and “The Sex Lives of College Girls,” as well as popular HBO hits like “Succession,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Insecure,” for the rise in popularity.

The big question is how HBO Max will fare in 2022 without the benefit of the same-day blockbusters. Will audiences stick around without the benefit of a brand new big-budget movie every few weeks?

The platform is immensely popular amongst women according to figures provided by Puck News, which found that half of the most in-demand shows are HBO Max originals (“Titans,” “Doom Patrol,” “The Sex Lives of College Girls,” “Young Justice,” and “And Just Like That…”) that all appeal to a younger, more female demographic. Could HBO Max, of all platforms, really become the new #2 to Netflix?

In June, HBO Max launched its less expensive ad-supported subscription option, which allowed viewers to watch minimal ads with their content for $9.99 per month. Later that month, HBO Max debuted in 39 Latin American territories, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Haiti, Panama, Peru, and more. HBO Max also launched in Europe, debuting in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Spain, and Andorra. The company also announced that 2022 would bring them to Turkey, Portugal, Greece, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, and the Netherlands, as well as unspecified nations throughout “Central & Eastern Europe.”

HBO Max

HBO Max is a subscription video streaming service that gives access to the full HBO library, along with exclusive Max Originals. It is The Streamable’s choice for Best Streaming Service of 2022.

HBO Max has two tiers, an ad-supported plan for $9.99 and ad-free plan for $14.99. HBO Max without ads also includes features like the ability to download offline and 4K streaming.

Subscribers will have access to hit HBO series like Succession, Mare of Easttown, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and more.

All HBO Max subscribers will get the full libraries of shows like “Friends”, “The Big Bang Theory”, “South Park”, “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”, “The West Wing”, and more.

They also will get Max Originals that aren’t available to HBO channel subscribers, like “The Flight Attendant” (Kaley Cuoco), “Love Life” (Anna Kendrick), as well as reboots to “Sex In The City” and “Gossip Girl.”

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