Feb 1, 2018

HBO hits 5 million digital subscriptions

Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

HBO added over 5 million domestic digital subscribers across its HBO and Cinemax services in 2017 — it's largest annual increase ever, the company announced in an SEC filing Thursday.

Why it matters: The increase is a result of a years-long overhaul of the company's content distribution strategy to broaden their subscription base so that they don't need to charge cable and satellite companies more to carry their content.

  • Over the past few years, HBO has renegotiated new contracts with Pay-TV providers to give them larger cuts of subscription revenues in return for marketing their channel.
  • They were also one of the first premium channels to establish distribution partnerships with digital streaming companies, like DirectTV and Amazon.

Subscription revenues for HBO and Cinemax increased 11% since this time last year, and the network now has 142 million subscribers globally, with roughly 10% coming from digital-only subscriptions.

  • HBO CEO Richard Plepler says the digital revolution has been a good opportunity to grow HBO's business. "We always looked at the opportunity to reach a bigger market as a win-win," Plepler he said at a recent NYU Skirball event. "A win for the consumer, a win for new partners and traditional partners, and a win for us."

Turner, HBO's parent company, also experienced a solid 13% subscription growth, which is impressive given the rate at which consumers are "cutting the cord," or getting rid of their cable subscriptions.

Time Warner, the parent company to Turner and HBO, saw stock increases Thursday in light of positive earnings. Time Warner is currently undergoing a Justice Department challenge to its proposed merger with AT&T.

Go deeper

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

More than 62,300 U.S. health care workers have tested positive for the novel coronavirus and at least 291 have died from the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Tuesday. COVID-19 had infected about 9,300 health professionals when the CDC gave its last update on April 17.

By the numbers: More than 98,900 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 384,900 Americans have recovered and more than 14.9 million tests have been conducted.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:00 p.m. ET: 5,589,626 — Total deaths: 350,453 — Total recoveries — 2,286,956Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:00 p.m. ET: 1,680,913 — Total deaths: 98,913 — Total recoveries: 384,902 — Total tested: 14,907,041Map.
  3. Federal response: DOJ investigates meatpacking industry over soaring beef pricesMike Pence's press secretary returns to work.
  4. Congress: House Republicans to sue Nancy Pelosi in effort to block proxy voting.
  5. Business: How the new workplace could leave parents behind.
  6. Tech: Twitter fact-checks Trump's tweets about mail-in voting for first timeGoogle to open offices July 6 for 10% of workers.
  7. Public health: Coronavirus antibodies could give "short-term immunity," CDC says, but more data is neededCDC releases guidance on when you can be around others after contracting the virus.
  8. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 22 mins ago - Politics & Policy

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

There are no COVID-19 patients in hospital in New Zealand, which reported just 21 active cases after days of zero new infections. A top NZ health official said Tuesday he's "confident we have broken the chain of domestic transmission."

By the numbers: Almost 5.5 million people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus as of Tuesday, and more than 2.2 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 14.9 million tests).