HBO expected to lose 5M subscribers after leaving Amazon Prime

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HBO is expected to lose 5 million subscribers when it leaves Amazon Prime Video’s streaming platform, according to a report.

Amazon sent messages to subscribers earlier this month that said HBO subscriptions would be canceled on Sept. 15, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Users would get a pro-rated refund based on their last billing cycle.

HBO, which is known for hit shows like “Succession,” and “Game of Thrones,” is expected to provide a special offer to Amazon subscribers after their subscriptions are canceled, the publication said, citing an unnamed WarnerMedia executive.

A rep for the WarnerMedia-owned HBO did not return requests for comment from The Post, nor did Amazon.

Before the cancelation, Prime users were able to individually subscriber to HBO on the channels platform for $15 a month. The platform has been a big success for Amazon, which gets to offer its customers popular shows from HBO, Showtime, Starz and Sundance TV within its existing app provided customers pay an additional fee.

HBO, which is home to "Succession," will likely lose 5 million subscribers as the service leaves Amazon Prime Video.
HBO, which is home to “Succession,” will likely lose 5 million subscribers as the service leaves Amazon Prime Video.
HBO via AP

But that changed after WarnerMedia and Amazon struck a deal late last year to remove HBO from Amazon Channels in 2021.

The reason why is because WarnerMedia wanted HBO Max, which includes movies and shows from HBO, to become the main service for subscribers, so that the company could control its billing and interface rather than Amazon.

In order to ween off HBO consumers from the channels platform, HBO Max was offered as a standalone app on Amazon Fire TV devices. Existing users who bought HBO subscriptions through Prime Video’s channels platform were also given access to HBO Max at no additional cost. The hope was that those customers will transition to HBO Max.

Now, those HBO users will have to download HBO Max on Amazon Fire TV or other streaming devices and set up a new subscription.

Since it launched in May 2020, HBO Max has become the focus for WarnerMedia, as the service tries to keep pace with streaming giants like Netflix and Disney.

The logo of streaming service Amazon Prime Video
Even though HBO is leaving Prime Video, customers will be able to access HBO Max on Amazon Fire TV and on other streaming devices.
REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/Illustration/File Photo

In July, the company said HBO Max had nearly 68 million global subscribers, but that’s including customers from HBO. And that’s far behind Netflix and Disney+, which have 209 million and 104 million global subscribers, respectively.

Even so, WarnerMedia execs have said they expect some subscriber drop off once HBO exited Amazon’s service.

Last month, HBO Max general manager Andy Forssell told Bloomberg that HBO isn’t worried about losing 5 million subscribers in the short-term if it meant cutting out the middleman, namely Amazon, in order to have a direct relationship with customers.

“It’s important for us to own the customer,” Forssell said. “If the viewer is in the app, we can tailor the home page to them. We can tailor what they show them next. We can respond to that in real time.”

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