In June updated streaming service AT&T HBO Max had about 30 million subscribers, less than the service Disney + to reach 50 million subscribers. Price and conditions of connection does not add competitive advantage HBO Max in a market where the consumer chooses savings and most valuable.
AT&T shares (T) fell by almost 22% since the beginning of the year, the launch of its new streaming service HBO Max (formerly HBO Now) at the end of may only temporarily regained part of the losses.
It seems that HBO Max until it looks “growth driver” for AT&T stock, and the fact that its launch has been among the streaming services this year, initially was not given the service benefits.
First, in January presented its streaming video service from NBCUniversal Peacock Comcast (CMCSA), after the Nov released Apple TV+ (AAPL) and Disney + (DIS).
While the number of subscribers Disney + exceeded 54.5 million subscribers, Netflix (NFLX) reported 182,86 millions and the number of viewers Apple TV +, according to market research firms, is about from 10 to 33 million, the number of subscribers to HBO’s Max is around 30 million.
However, one should note that in its proposal, AT&T, in fact, did HBO Max free for many: for those customers that already have a subscription to HBO; those who use unlimited Wi-Fi tariff plan Internet 1000 or subscriptions on AT&T TV or DirecTV Premier Premier.
Analysts believe that AT&T erred in their marketing strategy, not advertising enough, HBO’s Max. Besides, the price for new customers, not signed on some other paid services, AT&T, is us $14.9 per month, which is not enough.
Streaming video service from NBCUniversal Peacock is offered at a price of $5 per month for the version with ads and Premium without ads for $10 per month. Apple offered the free use of the TV + bonus for buyers of its new products and established a low price of $4.99 per month. Disney has offered the price at $6.99, while the “standard” subscription Netflix and Amazon Prime (AMZN) are $12.99 per month each.
Besides the problem of prices, analysts note the absence of HBO Max on two of the most popular TV set-top boxes in the United States – Roku (ROKU) and Fire TV from Amazon. Considering that these two consoles cover a market share of about 70%, is a big hole in the sales channel service.
According to a press release, AT&T, users can get access to HBO Max via phones and tablets, Android TV, Sony TVs, Android phones, Apple built-in Chromecast, computers (browsers Chromebook), some Samsung Smart TVs (models 2016-2020), the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Although the demand for streaming services has increased dramatically this year in terms of the pandemic and to move millions of people to work remotely, analysts say that the growth is likely to slow next year, and new companies will find it increasingly difficult to compete with the market leaders.
To strengthen its position, AT&T may have to accelerate the transformation, abandoning the business of cable and satellite TV, to focus on a new market.
Among such competitors – time is not good for HBO, Max, viewers are becoming more sophisticated and less resolute in the matter of subscription to new services.
Disney continues to grow, adding to Disney + content, originally intended for distribution in theaters, to increase the value of the service and attract more subscribers. Netflix, in turn, promises the new movie, since he had prepared the content to the pandemic.
Experts advise AT&T to abandon potentially unprofitable business and with great efforts to promote such new formats like streaming video service, given that advertisers are increasingly abandoning deals with broadcast and cable channels.