HBO Max is AT&T's new crown jewel in the flowing landscape, building on what its predecessor HBO Now started so many years ago. But the $ 14.99 per month HBO Max is more than HBO Now, and to prove it, AT&T wants to give HBO Max away for free to as many customers as possible.
HBO is going to be Max free for many people, but it's still hard to figure out who those customers are. AT&T will offer its wireless customers who already subscribe to HBO via AT & T & # 39; s services (such as AT&T TV or U-Verse TV) a free one-year subscription to Max. That's about 10 million people. The goal is to get those people to subscribe to HBO Max as soon as the year is over, which means that the older HBO subscription is canceled, which also costs the same $ 15 per month. Subscribers of premium AT&T mobile and broadband services are also eligible for HBO Max bundles at no extra cost.
HBO Max will also be a free upgrade for people who already subscribe to HBO Now, but there is a bit of a warning: it's nothing but free for people who are billed directly through HBO, according to AT&T. This means that the offer is only eligible for customers who subscribe via hbonow.com and are invoiced by HBO. Customers who subscribe to HBO Now through other services, such as Amazon Prime or Apple, are not eligible for the free offer.
Likewise, customers who subscribe to HBO through other cable providers and more traditional pay-TV providers, such as Comcast, also do not qualify for a free year of HBO Max – at least for now. John Stankey, Chief Operating Officer of AT&T, told investors at a HBO Max media event on Tuesday evening that the company is in the process of closing deals with those traditional providers. It is becoming increasingly advantageous for AT&T to have customers subscribe to HBO Max directly via AT&T instead of through third parties, and AT&T has designed its systems to reward customers who subscribe directly through AT&T.
Don't expect anything too fast. Cable providers pushed back against HBO Now, when that streaming service was launched in 2015, he saw it as a direct competitor to their own services that also include HBO. AT&T instructs customers who are subscribed to HBO Now through third-party platforms to "stay informed for more details as we get closer to our launch date".
AT&T wants as many customers as possible to register for HBO Max. Stankey's goal is to reach 50 million HBO Max subscribers in the United States by 2025. HBO currently has approximately 34 million subscribers in the US and approximately 130 million worldwide. It can be harder to get all those customers to switch to a new streaming service than Stankey had thought. And even if Stankey succeeds in moving all 34 million HBO subscribers – who do not all receive free HBO Max upgrades – to Max, HBO still needs 16 million new subscribers by 2025 to reach those goals.
HBO Max is representative of everything for which AT&T has purchased WarnerMedia and has packed its entire collection – more than 10,000 titles – in a sleek-looking interface that feels more like a social network than a streaming service. Podcasts are linked to top programs & # 39; s and man-made & # 39; flag & # 39; packages that should help subscribers save time on endless scrolling. HBO Max is launched in May 2020 for $ 14.99 a month.