HBO closing in on 3.5M online subscribers, report says

Jon Snow in seemingly hopeless straits in this Game of Thrones battle scene. Image: HBO
In February, HBO updated its subscriber numbers for HBO Now and revealed that the platform had surpassed the 2 million subscriber mark.

HBO’s various online platforms could be experiencing some explosive growth if new subscriber reports are accurate.

According to the Financial Times, in a report spotted by TV Answer Man, HBO is closing in on 3.5 million online subscribers. That total would include HBO Now, the company’s direct-to-consumer product, as well as HBO add-ons via vMVPDs like Sling TV, DirecTV Now and from Amazon Channels.

The report doesn’t break out subscriber numbers for HBO’s different streaming platforms, but does say that Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes has switched HBO from an annual fee to a revenue-share model for cable and satellite operators.

In February, HBO updated its subscriber numbers for HBO Now and revealed that the platform had surpassed the 2 million subscriber mark.

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“We’re also really pleased with the growth of HBO’s domestic OTT product, and we expanded HBO’s international OTT footprint with launches in Spain, Brazil and Argentina in 2016,” said Bewkes in a statement.

While it’s unclear how many of HBO Now’s subscribers are coming from partnerships with other providers, some analysts have predicted that Amazon could be chipping in as many as half of HBO Now’s total subscribers.

BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield said those wholesale relationships via Amazon Prime Channels are supplying up to half of HBO Now subscriptions and up to of 75% of Starz's.

“While it is phenomenal that premium channels such as HBO, Showtime and Starz are adding paying subscribers, they are not building a direct-to-consumer relationship. Amazon controls the data, consumers are using Amazon’s apps and maybe worst of all, Amazon is learning what shows interest consumers the most and is building their own video service utilizing that data to compete with the third-party channels they offer,” Greenfield wrote.