While it’s obviously not an indicator of long-term success, HBO Max didn’t quite have the launch it was hoping for. The first day numbers are in, and the app was only downloaded 87,000 times.
That’s well behind recent debuts of Quibi with about 300,000 and Disney+, which saw a staggering 4 million at their debuts. It’s worth remembering though that Quibi was free for 90 days and Disney+ is half the price.
Of course, there’s a very important caveat here. That number doesn’t include people who simply updated their old HBO app, people who got access through a platform like YouTube TV or Hulu, or people who downloaded the app early to take advantage of a discounted price.
The app is currently #2 in the App Store, so it’s not like the launch was a failure. But with an estimated 33 million downloads since April 2015, the HBO app (in all versions) still stands well behind Netflix (260 million), Hulu (120 million), and Disney+ (50 million).
It is of course, far too early to say HBO Max won’t succeed. But, it is coming after a slew of other high-profile streaming service launches and it’s carrying a price tag higher than almost all of them at a time many people are struggling financially. And, it’s still not available on the most popular streaming devices from Roku or Amazon.
With as many titles as this service carries, it’s hard to imagine it not succeeding.