In the second quarter, the media conglomerate said HBO Max, HBO and Discovery+ subscribers combined were 92.1 million, up 1.7 million from 90.4 million the prior quarter. That’s up 22% 75.8 million on a pro-forma basis versus a year earlier.
For Q1, AT&T — the prior owner of WarnerMedia and HBO Max — had reported 76.8 million total HBO and HBO Max subscribers worldwide, including 48.6 million domestically. Meanwhile, Discovery reported 24 million direct-to-consumer subscribers in Q1. That adds up to 100.8 million — so what accounts for the discrepancy with the first-quarter pro-forma total WBD reported? The company restated HBO Max subscribers to count third-party distribution deals only if the individual user has activated their subscription; under AT&T’s ownership, it counted wireless customers on plans that bundled HBO Max even if those users didn’t use it.
In announcing Q2 results, WBD said it re-extended its agreement with AT&T to continue to offer its internet and mobility customers access to HBO Max. It’s the first time Warner Bros. Discovery is reporting quarterly results that include the legacy WarnerMedia operations, after Discovery closed the acquisition of the media unit on April 8.
Meanwhile, in recent weeks, HBO Max quietly has been pruning content from the service in recent weeks, including removing six Warner Bros. movies that were streaming exclusively on the platform, in an apparent effort to reduce costs.