Analyst Michael Nathanson of MoffettNathanson Research is projecting that AT&T’s upcoming streaming service, HBO Max, will reach almost 51 million subscribers by 2025–even more than AT&T is expecting.
“We’re less optimistic about profitability for both HBO itself and for its impact on [AT&T unit] WarnerMedia more broadly,” Nathanson said in a note Monday.
HBO Max will be AT&T’s entry into the TV industry’s streaming wars. Among its competitors will be industry leader Netflix and Disney+, which quickly gained 10 million subscribers the first day it was available last week. Comcast is also planning to join the fray next year with its ad-supported Peacock service.
Source: Broadcasting & Cable
It doesn’t have the marketing burst of Disney+ or the momentum of Netflix, but HBO Max shows promise with a library of 10,000 hours of top-tier content when it launches in May. AT&T & WarnerMedia will boost its subscriber numbers by offering HBO Max gratis to existing AT&T HBO customers and direct HBO Now customers. Additionally, AT&T customers who subscribe to premium video, mobile, and broadband packages will be offered bundles with HBO Max at no additional cost.
HBO Max is expected to have more than double the content of its existing HBO Now service and will boast the same price ($14.99 per month). The price, which is notably more expensive than its competitors, shouldn’t affect the company in the long-term.
Disney and Apple have entered the streaming wars with services that undercut the competition. AT&T and WarnerMedia are resting on their premium laurels by not attempting to win a race to the bottom.
“We think HBO Max’s price of $14.99 will initially limit growth, but as the service builds out more content (and as long as the content remains as high quality as the current HBO content) consumers may be able to justify a higher price point,” MoffettNathanson analysts said.