AT&T CEO John Stankey has expressed his confidence in the future of HBO as the telecom giant’s pay TV unit competes in the crowded field of digital streaming.“I actually believe the glory days are still in front of us. They’re not behind us. They’re different days, and the product is different,” said Stankey.
HBO, founded in 1972, has seen significant innovations since its launch. As the market shifted from cable to digital, it kept innovating as per the market demands and Stankey believes there is still room for reinvention. In the first quarter of2021, AT&T added 2.7 million U.S. subscribers for HBO and HBO Max. The services now have a combined 44.2 million subscribers in the U.S. and almost 64 million worldwide.In comparison, Netflix finished the first quarter of this year with 208 million global subscribers, while, Disney+ gathered 100 million subscribers in just 16 months after its debut.
However, Stankeyis optimistic about HBO Max, as it is will soon be expanding into international markets, and as a cheaper, advertising-supported version launches in the U.S. in June.“Our domestic business is still scaling. We fully expect that there’s a receptive market for, at least, two-thirds of U.S. households that are going to want more than one streaming service,” he added.
“Netflix is a very capable and solid product that I’m sure many households are going to choose to have, and we’d like HBO Max to be one of those products,” said Stankey.The competitive advantage that HBO is giving to the users is that, both subscription-based platform as well as ad-supported. This way, customers have a choice depending upon their budgets and requirements.