HBO Max Adds 3 Million Subscribers in Q1 2022, Hitting 76.8 Million Globally
In its final quarter as part of the AT&T conglomerate, HBO Max added 3 million subscribers in Q1 2022, giving them a total of 76.8 million subscribers worldwide. When the service's totals were announced following Q4 2021, HBO Max had a total of 46.8 million subscribers domestically and 73.8 million globally.
HBO Max now has 48.6 million customers in the United States, up 1.8 million from Q4 2021. Internationally, they have 28.1 million subscribers, up 1.2 million from last quarter. This comes as HBO Max continued to debut in more overseas markets in Q1, including launching in 15 Europe countries last month.
In comparison, Netflix had 221 million subscribers globally (74.8 million in U.S. and Canada) as of the end of March, while Disney+ had 129.8 million subscribers (42.9 million in U.S. and Canada), as of the end of 2021. HBO Max, however, has a ARPU of $11.24, which is in-line with Netflix, but more than double Disney+.
In the quarter, HBO Max debuted the latest season of “Euphoria”, which was the second most watched show in the company’s history, just behind “Game of Thrones.” They also debuted “Winning Time”, had the season finale of “And Just Like That,” and held the Harry Potter reunion, “Return to Hogwarts.”
Now that the streaming service is part of the newly formed Warner Bros. Discovery, the future of the platform is very much in question. While we know that the plan is for HBO Max and discovery+ to be bundled and then eventually merged, we don’t know when, or — perhaps more importantly — how much the bulked-up service will cost.
Of course, the announcement of HBO Max’s subscriber total comes hot on the heels of dour news from its largest competitor. On Tuesday, Netflix announced that it lost 200,000 subscribers in Q1 2022 and anticipated dropping another 2 million in Q2. This prompted the world’s leading streamer to reverse course on two pillars of its business model, being ad-free and overlooking password sharing.
In a somewhat surprising announcement, in an investor interview following the release of the subscriber data, Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings confirmed that the company was actively engaged in launching a lower-cost, ad-supported tier in order to lower the barrier of entry to the service.
However, given its parent company’s recent merger, HBO Max has a few more existential questions to answer before diving into how to wring out every last penny from viewers sharing accounts; for example, what will the service look like under the new company’s leadership? While the two main WBD streaming services serve very different audiences, if combined, they could instantly form the second-largest streamer behind only Netflix. But how would Discovery’s content mesh with HBO Max’s? That’s something that a lot of analysts and customers aren’t sure of just yet.
The platform also hasn’t yet to exploit its live sports rights, despite holding streaming rights to the NHL. In March, Turner Sports — another WarnerMedia corporate sibling — secured rights to U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Soccer Teams games and plans to air some of those matches on HBO Max.
Whether it is on broadcast, cable, or streaming, live sports remain one of the last properties that practically everyone agrees has unparalleled value. So, if HBO Max is looking to grow its subscriber base, doing so with sports could be a good option.
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.
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.”