HBO Max and HBO topped 41 million U.S. subscribers at the end of 2020, AT&T said Wednesday, beating the company’s initial projection by two years.
HBO Max “activations” doubled since the end of Q3 2020 to 17.2 million as of end of its Q4, partially driven by the Dec. 25 launch of “Wonder Woman 1984” on the $14.99-a-month streaming service, according to AT&T.
To put that in context: Disney+ shot past 28 million subscribers within its first three months and now has more than 86 million paying consumers globally. AT&T reported Wednesday it has around 61 million subscribers between HBO and HBO Max around the world.
Coming on the heels of “Wonder Woman 1984’s” Christmas Day release, this HBO Max growth also follows WarnerMedia’s December announcement that all of its 2021 Warner Bros movies will launch on HBO Max on their theatrical release dates. That news was shortly followed by HBO Max and Roku finally striking a distribution deal.
In October 2020, AT&T reported a combined 38 million U.S. subscribers between HBO Max, which launched in May 2020, and regular HBO. That just barely surpassed the company’s internal expectations of 37 million.
At that time, HBO Max technically had 28.7 million subscribers, though the heavy majority of those, 25.1 million, were customers who already pay for HBO and get Max for free as part of their subscription. Of those, around 12.7 million actually signed up (in what AT&T calls “activations”) for Max specifically. An additional 3.6 million had purchased HBO Max on its own through WarnerMedia.
HBO Max is home to original series like “Love Life,” The Flight Attendant,” and the upcoming “Sex and the City” revival and “Gossip Girl” reboot, as well as a large library of Turner and Warner Bros. content, including “Friends,” “The Big Bang Theory” and DC Universe movies. Coming this year will be Warner Bros’ 2021 slate of films, including “Godzilla Vs. Kong,” “The Suicide Squad,” “Space Jam: A New Legacy” and “Dune.”
AT&T reported its fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 earnings Wednesday. AT&T executives will host a conference call at 8:30 a.m. ET to discuss the results in greater detail.