The disclosure follows AT&T’s earnings call last week, when CEO John Stankey said the service has attracted 4.1 new signups, including through direct outreach and AT&T wireless offers. While that number is lower than the blockbuster tally for Disney+ in its early days, it puts HBO Max on track to reach its goal of 50 million U.S. subscribers by 2025, Stankey said. The CEO called the launch of HBO Max “flawless.”
Love Life, interestingly, is ranked as the No. 2 series on HBO Max. The Lionsgate-produced anthology series, whose first season starred Anna Kendrick, is “right behind” Friends, according to a press release. In third place is The Big Bang Theory. As library sitcoms, the Warner Bros.-produced Friends and Big Bang are less likely to attract new customers but they are potent titles in terms of preventing subscribers from canceling.
The company did not reveal any specific viewership numbers in releasing the rankings on Monday. As with Netflix and other subscription services, third-party data is scant and information is self-reported.
After a long and successful run on Netflix came to an end last December, Friends began an exclusive run on HBO Max in May, though it remains a mainstay in linear syndication. WarnerMedia paid more than $1 billion for multi-year exclusive rights to Friends and Big Bang.
As Stankey mentioned last Thursday on the earnings call, eight HBO Max originals are in the top 25 series since launch. In addition to Love Life, that roster includes Doom Patrol, Looney Tunes Cartoons, The Not-Too-Late Show, Legendary, Search Party, Close Enough and Expecting Amy.
WarnerMedia says HBO Max is seeing 70% time spent by subscribers compared with HBO Now. The latter, a stand-alone offering launched in 2015, has only the main HBO offering. HBO Max includes the HBO programs as well as a range of original series and movies, plus an array of library titles, for a total of 15,000 hours in all. The Max audience is also younger than that of traditional HBO, with 23% of viewers between the ages of 18 and 24.