HBO Max and HBO had a better than expected 2021 with some surprising numbers. The company forecast was 70 million subscribers and they beat it by 3 million people. WarnerMedia's streaming operation had already bumped up their projections to 70 from 67 earlier in 2021 due to strong performances from some of their movie releases like Dune and Godzilla vs. Kong. Streaming TV hits like Succession and Sex and the City likely played a role in the winter bump. (To say nothing of an emotional Insecure finale that took over social media a few weeks ago.) The Matrix Resurrections might not have broken the box office as some had hoped, but it did help people get on the couch and stream it at home while the Omicron variant of COVID-19 became a factor in a lot of territories.
Another likely boost for HBO Max was entering new territories like Latin America. That happened near the midway point of the year, and every single user mattered when tabulating the metrics. European viewers also got their taste of the app near the end of 2021, adding even more eyes from around the globe. According to AT&T, they are planning to reach around 120 million to 150 million users by 2025. That number seems a lot more within reach after these findings were made public. Also making things interesting is the fact that HBO took their subscription option off of Amazon Prime Channels. (A surprisingly popular way for people to catch all of this programming.)
CEO John Stankey appeared on Cheddar News to talk about HBO Max's strategy going into 2021, it sounds like they were successful.
"Well, I think momentum is going to continue because we have a great slate of original programming," he said. "As we always do with HBO and HBO Max. So, whether it was about kicking off the momentum in Q4 2020 with The Flight Attendant or The Undoing. We;re keeping that going with such series as The Mayor of East Town and The Nevers. We have a great slate of original programming coming. With, certainly, the Sex and the City reboot and Mindy Kaling's Sex, Lies, and College as an example."
"We also have the Warner Bros. day/day premieres," he added. "Everybody knows those well. Whether it was Godzilla vs. Kong lighting up the box office and driving the momentum for HBO Max. We have many more of those films left to come throughout the duration of the year. So, we're quite excited about what's yet to come."
What was your favorite HBO Max show or movie from 2021? Let us know down in the comments!