HBO and HBO Max added 3 million subscribers in the first quarter of 2022, bringing their total to 76.8 million worldwide.
The growth was announced Thursday in AT&T’s first earnings report since spinning off WarnerMedia in a $55 billion merger deal with Discovery that was completed earlier this month.
It also marked a stark contrast to Netflix’s surprising loss of 200,000 subscribers worldwide in the same quarter — a setback that led to a 35% nosedive in the streaming giant’s stock price on Wednesday.
HBO and HBO Max added 1.8 million domestic subscribers in Q1, reaching a total of 48.6 million. The 3 million quarterly uptick also matched the growth in Q1 2021 in the midst of the pandemic. Subscription revenues also climbed 4.4% to $4 billion — which drove WarnerMedia revenue to $8.7 billion — a 2.5% increase from the year before.
Meanwhile, ad revenue dipped 3% to $1.7 billion, a further sign of weakening in the linear TV viewership.
In addition, the company cited “continued investments in HBO Max” and the just-launched CNN+ streaming service for a 32% drop in operating income at WarnerMedia.
In a statement, AT&T CEO John Stankey noted the spinoff of WarnerMedia just four years after the telecom giant purchased the entertainment conglomerate in a failed bid to diversify into content. “AT&T has entered a new era,” Stankey said.