AT&T forecasts HBO and HBO Max will reach 120 to 150 million subscribers globally by 2025, far exceeding the company’s earlier projections of 75 to 90 million.
The telecom giant released the figures this morning ahead of its analyst and investor presentation, in addition to laying out HBO Max’s international expansion plans and AVOD launch, set to roll out in the U.S. in June.
“We significantly exceeded our end-of-year 2020 HBO Max and HBO subscriber target. In fact, we’re two years ahead of our initial forecast,” AT&T chief John Stankey stated in the company’s annual report, released yesterday (March 11).
AT&T ended 2020 with more than 41 million HBO Max and HBO subscribers in the U.S. and 61 million globally.
“We expect this momentum to continue. For perspective, we added more HBO Max and HBO U.S. subscribers in 2020 than we did in the 10 years before that combined,” Stankey added.
AT&T plans to launch the streamer in 60 markets outside the U.S. in 2021 — 39 territories in Latin America and the Caribbean in late June and 21 territories in Europe in the second half of 2021.
WarnerMedia chief Jason Kilar (pictured) said HBO Max would be building on HBO Europe’s footprint with a “near doubling” of content planned compared to HBO for the same price during A&T’s investor presentation.
“These are markets where we have existing presence, key brand awareness, local programming experience and are excited to refresh our product and expand our subscriber base,” Kilar said of the service’s global expansion. “We have an exciting mix of content, including a great slate of originals.”
As for the 150 million subscriber number, Kilar said that projection doesn’t include markets where the company has licensing agreements — such as the UK, Germany, Italy and Australia.
“We expect HBO Max, and HBO revenue to more than double over the next five years to $15 billion. These revenue figures only reflect the initial 61 markets… Other markets would be incremental revenue opportunity to this $15 billion number. Because of our accelerated momentum, we expect to increase our investment over the next several years,” he said.
Looking to the future, Kilar also told attendees he sees opportunities beyond HBO Max to take WarnerMedia’s brands, such as CNN, direct-to-consumer
“When I think about the next decade, two decades of WarnerMedia, I think there’s fantastic opportunities to increasingly go direct-to-consumer and to go global across general entertainment, across news and information and interactive,” he said.
HBO DOC FILMS SLATES PAUL REUBENS FEATURE
In other HBO news, the network’s Documentary Films unit is in production on a two-part documentary about the life of actor Paul Reubens, best known for his character Pee-wee Herman.
The film, to be directed by Matt Wolf (Spaceship Earth) will trace the life of the artist.
Emma Tillinger Koskoff (The Irishman, Joker) serves as producer with Sebastian Bear-McClard (Uncut Gems, Good Time) and Josh and Benny Safdie (Uncut Gems, Good Time).
Reubens is represented by Brecheen Feldman Breimer Silver Thompson, Stewart Talent and ID.