AT&T expects half of the 120 million to 150 million HBO Max and HBO subscribers it expects to sign up by the end of 2025 will be outside the U.S. market.
On Friday, the telecom giant offered details to investors on how the international expansion of HBO Max starting this year will underpin subscriber and revenue growth for the streaming platform. “We are looking forward to building HBO Max’s current U.S. momentum and begin to offer it across the globe,” WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar told AT&T’s investor day.
HBO Max is set to launch in 60 countries outside the U.S. this year — 39 territories in Latin America and the Caribbean in late June and another 21 territories in Europe in the second half of the year. It’s the first foray into international markets for WarnerMedia’s streaming platform, which launched in the U.S. in May 2020, and which offers an array of content from the studio’s TV and film catalogs, a slate of originals and locally produced content.
By 2025, Kilar estimates around 50 percent of HBO Max and HBO subscribers will be outside the U.S. market and that HBO Max and HBO revenue will more than double to $15 billion within five years. “You should think about half of those 120 million to 150 million subscribers being outside the U.S. market. Obviously, that could change based on growth rates in every specific market we go into,” he told analysts.
Kilar added it was too early to forecast how many international markets can sustain an advertising-supported HBO Max service, which WarnerMedia plans to launch in the U.S. market this June. “Some markets won’t be able to support [AVOD HBO Max],” he ventured.
Kilar also gave no details on the cost of HBO Max services internationally beyond suggesting WarnerMedia planned an “aggressive pricing strategy.” At launch, existing HBO Go direct-billed customers in Latin America will get instant access to HBO Max via a new app, and the HBO GO service south of the border will be phased out.
And HBO-branded streaming services in Europe will be upgraded to HBO Max later this year. “With a near-doubling of content planned compared to HBO for the same price, along with a dramatically improved user experience, we think that European consumers will quickly embrace this new service,” Kilar told investors.
WarnerMedia has put an increasing focus on HBO Max as its entrant into Hollywood’s streaming wars. That includes expanding programming for the streamer not found with HBO as it taps WarnerMedia’s top franchises including DC Comics, Game of Thrones and Harry Potter.
HBO Max’s upcoming fare includes the Kate Winslet vehicle Mare of Easttown and the YA entry Generation.