HBO and HBO Max Combined for 73.8 Million Global Subscribers at the End of 2021

That’s slightly above AT&T’s target for the soon-to-be-spun-off WarnerMedia group

succession-season-3-episode-9 matthew macfadyen
Matthew Macfadyen in a still from "Succession"

HBO and HBO Max ended 2021 with approximately 73.8 million total global HBO Max and HBO subscribers, AT&T revealed on Wednesday morning. That is slightly ahead of management’s prior guidance, which predicted a range of 70-73 million global subs.

Last we had heard, HBO and HBO Max reached 69.4 million global subscribers at the end of Q3. This was after a loss on U.S. soil due to the removal of the HBO subscription option from Amazon Channels. At the time of that update, however, we heard that the upper end of the 70-73 million target was likely.

Yes, the fourth quarter has been a strong one for HBO and its streaming option, Max — especially December. On Tuesday, HBO Max announced that December 2021 was its most-viewed month since the service launched.

The “Sex & the City” sequel series “And Just Like That…” was the service’s No. 1 show in the U.S., EU and Latin America. December also housed the Season 3 finale of “Succession” (pictured above), which saw major increases in streaming numbers. Speaking of sex, “The Sex Lives of College Girls” also chipped in, as did “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Insecure.”

On the film side, it was the day-and-date releases of “The Matrix Resurrections” and “King Richard” encouraging sign-up and appointment viewing.

The momentum hasn’t slowed in early 2022: Max’s special “Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts” is off to the platform’s best start since the “Friends” reunion, HBO said Tuesday.

AT&T is in the process of spinning off its WarnerMedia group into a partnership with Discovery, Inc. That merger is expected to close in mid 2022. The combined company will be run by longtime Discovery chief David Zaslav. The full valuation of the new organization, named Warner Bros. Discovery, has been estimated to be $130 billion.

WarnerMedia launched its ad-supported version of HBO Max, which costs $9.99 per month, on June 2, more than a year after the commercial-free option debuted in May 2020.

AT&T CFO Pascal Desroches is speaking at Citi’s AppsEconomy Conference at 10 a.m. ET this morning where he may provide additional insight into the HBO/Max subscriber growth and WarnerMedia-Discovery merger timing. TheWrap will update readers with any relevant news from that conversation.