Technology

HBO Max launches in the U.S. and eyes Latin America for its foreign expansion

As LABS revealed earlier this month, the platform is prioritizing Latin American markets for its international rollout

Image: HBO Max/Courtesy
  • Like rivals Netflix and Disney+, HBO Max has a huge catalog of shows and movies;
  • AT&T, the parent company of HBO, plans to spend $4.5 billion on the service over the next few years;
  • The platform arrived in the U.S. as the most expensive of the Big Four video-streaming services.

HBO Max, the new streaming service offered by AT&T’s WarnerMedia packed with extra shows and movies, launched in the United States overnight this Wednesday, after months of anticipation. As LABS revealed earlier this month, the first international expansion of the platform will be to Latin American markets, in 2021.

Like rivals Netflix and Disney+, HBO Max has a huge catalog of shows and movies. Like those two and Big Tech’s competitors such as Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV+, it also has a big budget to invest in exclusive content and deals with big producers and distributors. AT&T, the parent company of HBO, plans to spend $4.5 billion on the service over the next few years. 

READ ALSO: After Europe and India, Disney Plus comes to Latin America later this year: Here’s what to expect

The company hopes to have 75 to 90 million HBO Max subscribers worldwide by 2025, 50 million of them in the U.S. market. By then, Digital TV Research, a consultancy specializing in the global media industry, predicts the new platform could add 2.2 million users on top of some of HBO’s premium base in Latin America, which already counts with around 10 million subscribers to pay TV and video on demand (VoD) services like HBO Go. That would put it among the Top 4 streaming services in the region.

Price

In the U.S. launch, HBO’s price has been calling attention. Available at $15 a month, it is charging viewers more than Disney+ ($7), Netflix’s basic plan ($9) or even Amazon Prime ($13). At a time when audiences’ incomes are being hit by the coronavirus crisis, that may be a risky business strategy. But it has tonnes of content to entice subscribers.

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From the start, HBO Max is offering an impressive 10,000 hours of content including the entire HBO service, together with franchises, titles past and present from Warner Bros., foreign productions, and a monthly offering of new originals.

The service pulls from WarnerMedia’s deep library of motion picture and TV series from Warner Bros.’ 100-year content collection, New Line, titles from DC, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Looney Tunes, a selection of classic films curated in partnership with TCM, and more.