AT&T announced it will launch its HBO Max video streaming service in May – at the current HBO price of $15 per month in an aggressive move to battle Netflix, Disney and Apple for the future of TV.
HBO Max is expected to reach 75 million to 90 million global subscribers by 2025, with about 50 million of these coming from the United States. The new service is expected to generate about $5 billion in U.S. revenue by 2025.
The stakes are high for AT&T, which is saddled with debt from a $134 billion acquisition spree to combine media conglomerate Time Warner and satellite TV provider DirecTV with the second-largest U.S. wireless phone company by subscribers, Reuters reported.
“This is not Netflix. This is not Disney. This is uniquely HBO Max,” AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson said.
HBO, which invented high-end, subscription programming, is playing catch-up in the streaming era dominated by Netflix.
AT&T has committed to invest up to $4 billion in additional HBO Max content by 2025.
Netflix has earmarked $15 billion in cash on content spending in 2019.
WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey said that HBO Max will be available this spring to 10 million current AT&T customers in the United States — a mix of wireless, satellite TV, and some HBO Now subscribers — at no extra charge.
WarnerMedia will introduce 88 original series in 2021, 38 from HBO and 50 under the category it called “Max Originals” that will target younger audiences.