January 10, 2020 2:21 pm

HBO Max improves launch forecast with AT&T bundles

HBO Max improves launch forecast with AT&T bundles
Credit: AT&T (via Wikimedia Commons)

AT&T is taking a wise approach and improving its new streamer HBO Max’s business forecast by planning bundles with their wireless services.

News of this development, which will also blend together AT&T TV, came from the Citi 2020 Global TMT West Conference Call, per Cord Cutters News.

It’s not the most shocking development, yet it shows HBO Max has a sound business strategy ahead of its May 2020 launch.


CHECK OUT: The real competition for Disney+ will be HBO Max

Precedent already exists for HBO Max bundles

Disney+ partnered with Verizon Wireless so that those customers would have a free full year of the streaming service. After that, Disney+ still has a good price point of $7.99/month or $69.99/year.

But while Verizon has a whopping 118.7 million subscribers, AT&T outpaces them with 162.3 million. That’s beyond a massive audience to lure in with these bundles.

Additionally, leave it to AT&T CFO John Stephens to explain why he feels like his company has an advantage over the Mouse House in this way:


“The difference is, is I have owners’ economics, and I have the umbrella of ownership of both. And so from that standpoint, I think, as we all know, owner’s economics on these matters in our industry and in the business, in general, is really important and so we feel really good.”

Cord Cutters News

Apple is following that track, reportedly mulling a bundle of Apple News+, Apple Music and Apple TV+. The streamer costs only $4.99/month on its own.

AT&T previously had AT&T TV Now, but folded that branch of the company and merged it into HBO Max. The plans for the separate, rebooted AT&T TV are to launch it sometime in early 2020.

That’ll likely coincide pretty closely with HBO Max’s debut. Also of note is how the Audience channel is serving as a preview for the new streamer, giving prospective subscribers a glimpse at what’s to come.


CHECK OUT: AT&T’s Audience to become HBO Max marketing channel

Covering spending costs and a high price point

Targeting many millions of innate subscribers is smart. It’s also necessary, considering HBO Max has been on a spending spree for preexisting content.

Plus, the $14.99/month price point for HBO Max is easily the most expensive among streaming giants. That’s in part due to their aggressive spending, and also confidence in the product.

It helps to have HBO’s incredible back catalog of TV shows to lean on. However, HBO Max isn’t resting on laurels, as an ambitious slate of original programming is on deck for 2020 and beyond.

Despite having an older target audience than, say, Disney+, HBO Max is aggregating so much content and potential subscribers that it almost feels like an unstoppable streaming force.

Although companies like Amazon and Apple have immense purchasing power, they’re so multifaceted beyond entertainment. HBO Max could well be chief among the newest streamers: Apple TV+, Peacock, and even Disney+.

CHECK OUT: Will HBO Max’s content justify its highest streaming price point?

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