HBO Max could be coming to Australia as soon as 2025, with Warner Bros Discovery’s head of streaming dropping a big hint last week.
The Warner Bros Discovery-owned network HBO, the producers of hit shows like Succession, The Last of Us, White Lotus, House of the Dragon and Curb Your Enthusiasm, currently distributes content through Foxtel and its streaming platform Binge in Australia.
But Jean-Briac Perrette, Warner Bros Discovery’s streaming boss, says such content could be offered through HBO Max in Australia soon, following launches in Europe and countries in Asia.
“Australia’s a critically important market for us, where again we think our content is very strong for that market,” Perrette said in comments reported by the Australian Financial Review on Monday afternoon.
Perette suggested HBO Max would expand to Asia before 2025 and then a “market like Australia” after that, which implies in 2025 or after.
He was speaking at the Media Partner Asia APOS event, which was held in Indonesia last week.
HBO Max entering Australia would add another major player into an already crowded streaming market alongside Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Stan, Binge, Paramount+ and Apple TV.
The popularity of its content in Australia, including shows like Succession and The Last of Us, could help HBO Max take customers off those players.
Warner Bros also owns evergreen hits like Harry Potter and the stable of DC comic content, as well as Discovery’s library of reality TV like Mythbusters.
Threat to Foxtel
It presents a threat to Foxtel, in particular, because it has been distributing HBO shows as a partner of choice in Australia and could lose access to this content if Warner Bros Discovery starts distributing its shows Down Under.
That long-term licensing deal was renewed earlier this year and is up for renegotiating in 2025, which would align with Warner Bros’ timing for a launch of HBO Max in Australia.
Streaming in Australia has taken a hit recently, due to cost-of-living pressures.
The number of Netflix subscribers dropped for the first time in Australia, this year, as growth slowed across all streaming platforms.
Netflix had a 3 per cent drop while other streamers increased subscriptions but not overall period-by-period growth, Telsyte data for June revealed.
Netflix still leads the pack with 6.1 million Australian subscribers, and Amazon Prime Video was next with 4.5 million subscribers.
This isn’t the first time Netflix has lost subscribers, but the recent Australian downturn is significant.
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