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AT&T to Launch Ad-Supported HBO Max in June, Sets Much Loftier Subscriber Goal

Company now expects 120-150 million worldwide HBO Max and HBO subscribers by the end of 2025

AT&T will launch ad-supported HBO Max option in June, the company said on Friday ahead of its investor day. The WarnerMedia parent also updated its subscriber forecasts for the streaming service. They’re now much higher.

The former Ma Bell telecom giant now expects between 120-150 million worldwide HBO Max and HBO subscribers by the end of 2025. Previously, in October 2019, AT&T had forecast 75-90 million by then.

AT&T ended 2020 with about 61 million combined HBO and HBO Max subs. The company expects to have 67-70 million at the end of 2021.

So we’d say things are going pretty well in the early going.

June will be a busy month for HBO Max. In addition to that AVOD launch, which will lower the monthly cost for consumers who are cool with commercials, AT&T will also roll HBO Max out in 60 markets outside of the U.S. in June.

AT&T also provided some updates on its fiber and C-band spectrum businesses, as well as guidance on company cash and debt. Read more about those here.

“We’re being deliberate and strategic with how we allocate capital to invest in our market focus areas of 5G, fiber and HBO Max, while being committed to sustaining the dividend at current levels and utilizing cash after dividends to reduce debt,” John Stankey, AT&T CEO, said in a statement on Friday.

“Our number one priority in 2021 is growing our customer relationships. It’s about more than just adding to our customer base. It’s about expanding the growth opportunity in our three market focus areas and also increasing our share within each market,” he continued. “We’re focused on creating deeper relationships with our current customers to increase their daily engagement with our products and services, enabling us to gather more meaningful insights, drive loyalty, and stay ahead of their rapidly changing preferences. As demand for connectivity and content continues to grow, we are well-positioned to deliver.”

AT&T’s investor day kicks off at 10 a.m. ET. In addition to Stankey, AT&T Communications CEO Jeff McElfresh, WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar, AT&T CFO John Stephens, CFO and incoming CFO Pascal Desroches will also present at investor day.