HBO Max added 8.6 million U.S. subscribers in the third quarter — more than double the number of activations recorded in Q2 — WarnerMedia parent company AT&T reported in its fiscal update today (Oct. 22).
Overall, domestic subscribers to HBO and HBO Max topped 38 million. That figure includes 28.7 million HBO subscribers with access to HBO Max. The number of subscribers worldwide came in at 57 million.
“We delivered a solid quarter with good subscriber momentum in our market focus areas of connectivity and software-based entertainment,” John Stankey (pictured), AT&T CEO, said in a statement. “We continue to grow and scale HBO Max, with total domestic HBO and HBO Max subscribers topping 38 million — well ahead of our expectations for the full year.”
In an earnings call with investors on Thursday, Stankey said an AVOD option for HBO Max is on track for a 2021 launch
Revenues for WarnerMedia, however, fell to US$7.5 billion in Q3, compared to $8.4 billion in the year-ago quarter.
AT&T estimates the impact from COVID-19 — lower TV production, theatrical revenues and licensing sales — to amount to nearly $1.6 billion.
In recent months, WarnerMedia has restructured its topline leadership under CEO Jason Kilar. In August, the company confirmed WarnerMedia Entertainment and direct-to-consumer chairman Bob Greenblatt and HBO Max chief content officer Kevin Reilly would be stepping down from their roles.
In a memo to staff, Kilar said the structural changes would serve to elevate HBO Max in the organization and expand its scope globally, simplify WarnerMedia’s studios and create a consolidated international unit focused on “scale and efficiency.”
Last week, news broke that Channing Dungey – former president of ABC Entertainment and, most recently, VP of original content at Netflix — had been appointed as chairman of Warner Bros. TV Group, set to replace outgoing longtime WBTVG executive and television industry veteran Peter Roth in early 2021.
“She’s a great choice to lead the Television Group as it continues to grow its production operations for HBO Max, while also maintaining its standing as the industry’s leading independent supplier of programming to all outlets,” WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group chair and CEO Ann Sarnoff said in a statement.
(With files from Barry Walsh)