HBO Max, which rolls up the content of the legacy HBO brand with assets from the broader WarnerMedia empire, is priced at $14.99 a month. The promotion cuts the price to $11.99 a month for 12 months.
So it’s a savings of $36, aimed at new subscribers and folks who used to pay for HBO, either through their MVPD provider or via direct-to-consumer streaming, but quit the service. What the promotion won’t likely do is solve HBO Max’s core problem — get the sizable legacy HBO subscriber base shifted over to the new service.
You’d think it’d be an easy problem to solve: Parent company AT&T said it had 36.3 million U.S. subscribers in the HBO ecosystem as of the end of the second quarter. Each of these subscribers can get more with HBO Max than they did with their legacy HBO service for the same $14.99 price.
But in the 34 days from HBO Max’s May 27 launch through the final day of the second quarter, June 30, only 4.1 million subscribers had signed up for HBO Max.
The inability of AT&T and WarnerMedia to carve out distribution agreements with the top connected TV device platforms in the U.S., Roku and Amazon Fire TV, has drawn much of the blame for HBO Max’s transitionary struggles.
But brand confusion is probably as big a factor, with WarnerMedia challenged to explain the difference between its legacy HBO Now and HBO Go insignias and the new moniker.
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