HBO Max shows growth despite industry slowdown

The logo for HBO is pictured during the HBO presentation at the Cable portion of the Television Critics Association Summer press tour in Beverly Hills, California August 1, 2012. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

WarnerMedia’s HBO Max streaming service gained subscribers over the holidays, defying the slowing pace of growth of some competing services, with lineup that included the rebirth of its popular “Sex and the City” series and new films such as “The Matrix”Resurrections.
HBO ended the year with 73.8 million subscribers to its streaming service and its eponymous cable network, up from 69.4 million in September. 
Those gains, coupled with the addition of nearly 900,0000 monthly paid phone subscribers, pushed the stock up 3% to $ 26.46. in the midday exchanges. 
“I think the  streaming service’s cap is much higher than what we’ve seen to date,”  WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar said in an interview. 
“This will quickly become a three-way race for storytelling companies.

HBO Max still has a long way to go to capture market leader Netflix Inc, with  214 million subscribers, and Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) Disney +, with 118 million. Disney’s growth slowed  in the company’s fiscal fourth quarter, prompting a banker to downgrade the stock. Disney + added just 2.1 million in the October quarter. Netflix, which slowed sharply in the first half of 2021, saw its subscriptions increase in October, adding 4.4 million during the quarter, driven by the global sensation “Squid Game”.
 WarnerMedia’s HBO Max logged gains as it expanded the server reach from a single market, the United States, to 46 countries. Kilar said global expansion will continue this year,  eventually targeting 190 countries. 
AT&T (T.N) announced last May that it would split its WarnerMedia unit and merge it with Discovery (DISCA.O). The deal is expected to be finalized in the middle of this year.

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