HBO Max is going global.
The new streaming platform, currently only available to U.S. subscribers, will launch in 61 other markets starting in June.
The company also plans to launch an advertising-driven streaming service in the United States at the same time. The announcements came Friday as part of a broader presentation outlining a set of goals for AT&T, which owns HBO.
The company hopes to reach between 120 million and 150 million total customers for HBO Max and its traditional HBO TV channel by the end of 2025, a more ambitious target compared with its previous goal of 75 million to 90 million.
The company also expects between 67 million and 70 million customers by the end of 2021. It had 61 million as of the end of December, but the number of people actually watching HBO Max is much smaller. About 41.5 million customers are in the United States, and of that group about 17.2 million have HBO Max accounts. That suggests that of the company’s new subscriber target, not all of them will necessarily be streaming HBO Max.
The company has a complicated setup around HBO Max. People can sign up for the service directly, and those who already pay for the premium cable channel through their cable or satellite provider also have access, but not everyone has set up their streaming account. The service is also offered for free or at a reduced price to AT&T’s wireless customers.
The jump into international markets shows how aggressively AT&T needs to expand its streaming enterprise. The addition of an advertising-based service means the company sees an opportunity to capture the ad dollars that have started to move away from traditional television. It’s unclear if the ad-supported version will be free or whether it will only be available at a reduced price from HBO Max’s current $15 per month cost.
Jason Kilar, the chief executive of WarnerMedia, the unit that manages HBO, said the service is expected to start making money after 2025. It should generate about $15 billion in sales by that year, he added.
HBO Max has become a key part of AT&T’s overall strategy to keep and grow mobile customers, so losing money is less of an immediate concern if it helps AT&T retain its core wireless subscribers. Mr. Kilar emphasized HBO Max’s value to the phone business, citing that 25 percent of HBO Max customers have come via AT&T.
He ended his presentation with a cliché from the Warner Bros. film archives: “It’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
The Treasury Department said on Friday that stimulus payments would begin arriving in bank accounts by direct deposit this weekend as the Biden administration tries to get much-needed money to struggling families.
Treasury and Internal Revenue Service Officials said the payments would be released in batches over the next several weeks, with some coming in the mail in the form of checks or debit cards. The payments are the first big logistical test for Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen, as millions of Americans are anxiously awaiting the economic aid.
The payments will provide up to $1,400 per individual, including dependents. The amounts will be reduced for people making more than $75,000 and for married couples who earn more than $150,000. Individuals earning more than $80,000 or couples making more than $160,000 will not get payments.
This is the third round of direct payments since the pandemic started last year. The amount of money each person qualifies for is based on tax information filed with the Internal Revenue Service for 2019 or 2020.
The Treasury Department has been working with financial institutions to try to ensure the payments arrive more quickly this time around than they did last year, when millions of payments were misdirected into unused accounts. The majority of the payments are expected to be delivered within the next few weeks.
On Monday, people will be able to check the status of their payments on the I.R.S.’s website
Some of the first round of payments last year were delayed because former President Donald J. Trump…
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