WarnerMedia is trying to offset the loss of about 5 million HBO subscribers who had signed up through Amazon in the U.S. with an aggressive discount offer on HBO Max.
As of Sept. 15, HBO subscriptions through Amazon Prime Video Channels were officially shut down. But WarnerMedia is angling to get those customers back: Starting Friday, those who accessed HBO via Prime Video Channels — as well as all new and returning HBO Max subscribers — can sign up for the premium HBO Max ad-free monthly plan at a 50% discount.
The new limited-time promotion lets eligible customers get HBO Max at $7.49 per month for six months; after that, the rate goes back up to the regular $14.99/month. WarnerMedia began promoting the deal Friday on hbomax.com; customers also can sign up through Apple, Google, LG, Microsoft, Sony, Roku and Vizio.
The 50% off deal is available in the U.S. only through Sept. 26, and is squarely targeted at Amazon Prime users who have just lost access to HBO and HBO Max.
WarnerMedia is expecting the end of HBO on Amazon Prime Video Channels (which had cost $15/month) to cause its total domestic HBO/HBO Max sub base to take a hit. But as AT&T CFO Pascal Desroches reiterated this week at an investor conference, the company’s prior guidance for 70 million-73 million global HBO Max and HBO subscribers by the end of 2021 factors in the impact of HBO leaving Amazon Prime Channels.
As Desroches previously told investors, AT&T expects most HBO Max subscriber growth in the second half of 2021 to come from outside the U.S. HBO Max recently began its global rollout launching in 39 markets across Latin America and the Caribbean in June, and HBO Max will come to eight European countries next month as it begins replacing the HBO-branded streaming services.
Well before HBO Max launched, WarnerMedia made the decision to phase out HBO as a subscription through Amazon Prime Video Channels (as well as other digital “channel” providers like Apple TV) in the U.S. The media conglomerate wanted uniform direct-to-consumer relationships, which among other things lets it collect data for targeted advertising — for example, in the HBO Max With Ads tier, priced at $10, introduced this past June.
In the U.S., HBO Max offers more than 13,000 hours of streaming entertainment, including all HBO current and past programming, Max Original series as well as content from brands like Warner Bros., DC, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Turner Classic Movies and licensed content.
In 2021, HBO Max is streaming the entire Warner Bros. movie slate on the same day they premiere in theaters, available on the platform for 31 days from release. Next year, Warner Bros. will produce at least 10 exclusive movies for HBO Max.
Currently available on HBO Max and in theaters is James Wan’s “Malignant,” the latest installment in the Conjuring horror universe. Clint Eastwood’s “Cry Macho” launches day-and-date Friday (Sept. 17), with “Sopranos” prequel “The Many Saints of Newark” and Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” coming in October. “The Matrix Resurrections” is set to arrive in December.