AT&T can I don’t want HBO Max anymore, but the streaming platform is gaining ground with customers.
HBO and HBO Max, which are home to genre franchises such as “Game of Thrones” and “The Sopranos” and Hollywood blockbusters like “Wonder Woman 1984”, added 10.7 million customers in just over a year , with $ 2.8 million to come for the three months ending in June, AT&T reported Thursday. These figures include both HBO Max and the HBO TV channel.
The company has 67.5 million subscribers to HBO and HBO Max, of which 47 million are in the United States. AT&T, which has reached an agreement for sell your media companies, expects HBO and HBO Max to have between 70 and 73 million customers by the end of the year, beating previous forecasts.
Netflix, the most popular streaming service, has 209 million subscribers, of which around 66 million are in the United States. It gained customers in the second quarter, but growth slowed significantly and it lost 430,000 subscribers in the United States and Canada, a sign that cracks start to appear in the streamer’s long-standing dominance.
Speaking about the entire streaming industry, Jason Kilar, managing director of AT&T’s media arm, WarnerMedia, said in an interview, “The only thing I can promise you is change. . There is no doubt that change is coming, and it is appropriate because we live in dynamic times. “
WarnerMedia, which includes CNN, Warner Bros. Film and Television Studios. and Turner Cable Networks, is about to become the property of Discovery Inc., as media companies continue to swallow up in an effort to take on Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. The deal, which is expected to close around the middle of next year, will create the second-largest media company in the United States, behind The Walt Disney Company and ahead of Netflix and NBCUniversal.
Mr. Kilar, who learned acquisition just weeks before it was announced, could be out of work after the deal is struck.
The two companies are prohibited from working together until the merger is approved by government regulators, including the conclusion of any employment contract. Yet such agreements often involve unspoken agreements on leadership. Mr Kilar said he had met in company David Zaslav, the director of Discovery, but did not discuss the subject of his job.
“David and I have known each other for a long time,” he said, “and I think it’s fair to say that there’s a lot of respect shared between the two of us.”
Mr. Kilar, who took over the company only 15 months ago, said he had no plans to step down.
“There will be a time when I take the lead again next year when I think about it,” he continued. “But I certainly don’t plan to do it until 2022.”
Mr. Kilar, who was the founding CEO of Hulu, is seen in Hollywood as a bit of an iconoclast. In 2011, he expanded the industry with a now famous manifesto on the future of entertainment this, to many, has come across as a searing criticism of Hulu’s corporate ownership.
The post criticized mainstream television for showing too many commercials. Mr Kilar also lambasted cable, predicting that viewers would end up dropping expensive packages.
After Mr. Kilar joined WarnerMedia, he quickly reshuffled the management ranks and cut costs in an effort to streamline the business.
Then he angered Hollywood (yet again) by breaking with tradition and releasing the entire 2021 lineup of Warner Bros. movies. on HBO Max the same day they were scheduled to appear in theaters. The move would have cost some of Hollywood’s biggest players a profit in return – the commission that top producers and stars earn based on box office receipts – but the company quickly made deals for itself. ensure they would be paid.
Unlike Netflix, Disney + and HBO Max and other new streaming entrants have legacy deals with cable companies and Hollywood studios that prevent a more comprehensive approach to making movies and TV shows immediately available online.
For Mr. Kilar, it wasn’t about upsetting Hollywood, but rather part of a larger strategy Goose HBO Max.
It seems to have worked. The release of shows designed for the big screen like “Godzilla vs. Kong” on HBO Max has helped to increase the service’s customer base.
Mr. Kilar intends to continue this strategy until 2022. Warner Bros. 10 films will be released exclusively for the streaming platform. And big-budget films like “The Batman,” a reimagining of the comic book character starring Robert Pattinson, will have relatively short windows in theaters 45 days before they appear on HBO Max, according to Mr Kilar.
“It’s very, very different from how the world worked in 2019,” he said. “At the end of the day, I think as long as you think about it, the change could be very, very good not only for the clients, but also for the people we work with.”