HBO is expected to lose 5 million subscribers by exiting the Amazon Prime Video streaming platform, according to a report.
Amazon sent messages to subscribers earlier this month indicating that HBO subscriptions would be canceled on September 15, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Users would get a pro-rated refund based on their last billing cycle.
HBO, which is known for its hit shows like “Succession” and “Game of Thrones,” is expected to offer a special offer to Amazon subscribers after their subscriptions are canceled, the publication said, citing an anonymous executive from WarnerMedia.
A representative for HBO, owned by WarnerMedia, did not return requests for comment from The Post, nor did Amazon.
Prior to the cancellation, Prime users could individually subscribe to HBO on the channel platform for $ 15 per month. The platform has been a big hit for Amazon, which offers its customers popular shows from HBO, Showtime, Starz and Sundance TV in its existing app, on condition that customers pay additional fees.
But that changed after WarnerMedia and Amazon struck a deal late last year to remove HBO from Amazon channels in 2021.
The reason is that WarnerMedia wanted HBO Max, which includes movies and shows from HBO, to become the primary service for subscribers, so the company could control its billing and interface rather than Amazon.
In order to separate HBO consumers from the channel platform, HBO Max was offered as a standalone app on Amazon Fire TV devices. Existing users who purchased HBO subscriptions through Prime Video’s channel platform also had access to HBO Max at no additional cost. The hope was that these customers will switch to HBO Max.
Now these HBO users will need to download HBO Max to Amazon Fire TV or other streaming devices and set up a new subscription.
Since launching in May 2020, HBO Max has become the focus of WarnerMedia, as the service tries to keep pace with streaming giants like Netflix and Disney.
In July, the company said that HBO Max had nearly 68 million subscribers worldwide, but that includes HBO customers. And it is far behind Netflix and Disney +, which have 209 million and 104 million subscribers respectively worldwide.
Despite this, executives at WarnerMedia have said they expect some subscribers to disappear once HBO leaves Amazon’s service.
Last month, HBO Max chief executive Andy Forssell told Bloomberg that HBO isn’t worried about losing 5 million subscribers in the short term if it means removing the middleman, namely Amazon, in order to have a direct relationship with customers.
“It’s important for us to own the customer,” said Forssell. “If the viewer is in the app, we can adapt the home page to them. We can adapt what they show them next. We can respond to them in real time.