Movies

HBO And HBO Max Reach 46.8M Domestic Subscribers, With Average Revenue Of $11.15

HBO Max closed 2021 with 46.8 million domestic subscribers when combined with HBO, up 5.3 million over 2020, parent AT&T disclosed in its fourth-quarter earnings report.

Overall subscribers were 73.8 million, as the company had indicated earlier this month. The company previously had not provided a domestic-international breakdown. Domestic revenue per subscriber was $11.15.

AT&T is about to merge WarnerMedia with Discovery in a $43 billion deal that is awaiting the final blessing of regulators, perhaps as soon as the springtime.

The parent company beat Wall Street estimates in the fourth quarter, with adjusted earnings of 78 cents share, two cents ahead of forecasts. Revenue came in at $41 billion, which was down from $45.7 billion in the prior-year period but ahead of estimates for $40.4 billion.

At WarnerMedia, revenue increased 15% in the quarter to $9.9 billion, with direct-to-consumer subscription revenue climbing 11.5%.

HBO Max launched in May 2020 and WarnerMedia rolled it out internationally in June 2021. The company added a cheaper, ad-supported tier at that same time. The quarterly results did not include a breakdown of how many subscribers opted for the ad-supported tier.

AT&T said blamed the 10% downturn on the impact of divested businesses, mainly U.S. video in the third quarter and Vrio in the fourth quarter. The company spun off pay-TV operator DirecTV, which it had acquired in 2015, into a separate entity 30%-owned by private equity firm TPG.

At WarnerMedia, content and “other” revenue jumped 45% in the quarter to $4.4 billion, which the company credited to higher TV licensing and theatrical box office. Advertising revenue slipped 13% to $1.6 billion due to tough comparisons with the political frenzy of 2020 on CNN and other outlets.

Operating income at WarnerMedia fell 38% to $1.6 billion, reflecting ongoing investments in HBO Max, among other expenses.

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