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HBO Max Declines to 45.2 Million Subscribers in U.S., After Losing Amazon Subscribers, But Grows to 69.4 Million Globally

Lauren Forristal

HBO Max has declined to 45.2 million subscribers in the U.S. during Q3 2021, down from 47 million domestic subscribers last quarter. The loss comes after HBO cut ties with Amazon Prime Video in September, which meant they had to re-acquire 5 million subscribers who signed up through Prime Video.

AT&T says the “international and ad-supported subscriber gains were partially offset by HBO Max being discontinued on the Amazon wholesale platform.” Overall though, HBO Max has added 7.1 million subscribers in the last year.

To help mitigate the damage from the breakup, they offered a limited time a 50% discount for six months for customers to switch to a direct subscription, which was also available to new subscribers as well.

Globally the company now has 69.4 million HBO Max and HBO subscribers, up from 67.5 million last quarter, and 12.5 million on the year.

Prior to the loss of Amazon, Andy Forssel, chief of HBO Max, said he wasn’t worried about the impact. Forssel said that HBO's goal of 70 million subscribers by the end of the year remains achievable, which still remains in reach.

The company is also seeing the effects of their new, cheaper ad-supported plan, which launched in the beginning of June at $9.99 a month.

In comparison, Netflix now has ~74 million subscribers in North America, after losing adding just 70K subscribers in the U.S. last quarter. Hulu had 42.8 million subscribers as of last quarter, while Disney+ reportedly has 40 million subscribers in North America. HBO Max, however, has a ARPU of $11.82, which is in-line with Netflix, but more than double the others.

The upcoming slate should be a boon for HBO Max in the fourth quarter. In October, HBO Max had the release of ‘The Many Saints of Newark,’ the newest season of ‘Succession,’ and will release ‘Dune’ later today.

In November, HBO Max has an array of content coming to the platform, including the new comedy series, ‘The Sex Lives of College Girls’ about four college freshman roommates from different walks of life exploring their sexualities, the film ‘King Richard’ starring Will Smith, and an early Christmas movie ‘8-Bit Christmas.’

AT&T's announcement to merge with Discovery will expand HBO’s library significantly. During a Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference, Discovery CEO David Zaslav remarks that the library will be “as big or bigger than Netflix.”

Another goal they plan to achieve is gaining global subscribers in the next year. A month after the Discovery mega-merger announcement, HBO Max launched its service in 39 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. They have also announced an October European launch in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Spain, and Andorra.

HBO Max

HBO Max is a subscription video streaming service that gives access to the full HBO library, along with exclusive Max Originals, and access to every Warner Bros. film on HBO Max on the same day that it hits theaters.

HBO Max has two tiers, an ad-supported plan for TBD and ad-free plan for 89 kr. 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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