During the AT&T Q4 earnings call Wednesday, CEO John Stankey shared his thoughts on recent streaming price hikes and where HBO Max stands today.
HBO and HBO Max reached a combined 73.8 million global subscribers, beating the company’s target of 70 to 73 million subscribers, which we first learned earlier this month. WarnerMedia noted its decision to remove the HBO channel from Amazon Prime Channels as the cause behind the drop in domestic subscribers, while increased interest internationally offset the losses.
In today’s earnings call, Stankey defended the decision to pull HBO Max from Amazon. “We felt it was the right decision,” he commented. “At the end of the day, you want full control of your customers and I’m confident with the strength of the offer that will be in the market, those customers are all going to come back into the offer. It may take a couple of quarters for that to happen. But there will eventually be a product out there that they are going to look at and say they want to be part of. “
Without naming the streamer by name, Stankey also discussed the recent Netflix price hike that brought the most popular tier of the service to $15.49 per month, just about HBO Max’s ad-free tier which costs $15 per month.
“We said the market was going to come to us on pricing, and lo and behold, we are no longer the high-priced offer in the market,” Stankey said. “The nice part about that is we think it will allow us to have domestic growth as we move forward, but the base is in a really, really good place as a result of that.”