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Holidays boost downloads of HBO Max, Disney Plus

"Wonder Woman 1984" and Pixar's "Soul" helped push more downloads, subscriptions of both services.

"Wonder Woman 1984" and Pixar's "Soul" helped push more downloads, subscriptions of both services.

Two high-profile theatrical releases that made their debuts on streaming services helped bolster download and subscription figures over the Christmas holiday, according to a report.

On Tuesday, Bloomberg said HBO Max saw more than a half-million new subscribers thanks in large part to the debut of “Wonder Woman 1984,” a Warner Bros. film that saw a release in theaters and on HBO Max simultaneously.

Another movie, Pixar’s “Soul,” was released on streaming service Disney Plus that same day. Over the Christmas weekend, customers downloaded the Disney Plus to more than 2.3 million devices around the world, Bloomberg said.

The financial news outlet’s reporting was based on figures released by Apptopia, a marketing and analysis firm that focuses on software for phones, tablets and other mobile devices. Apptopia monitors around 250,000 apps in various online marketplaces.

AT&T, the parent company of WarnerMedia, announced earlier this month it would release Wonder Woman 1984 and nearly two dozen other films through its owned-and-operated streaming service HBO Max by the end of 2021. Prior to the announcement, AT&T secured carriage of HBO Max on Amazon’s line of Fire TV devices; a short time after the announcement, it inked a deal to provide the app on Roku hardware.

Executives at Disney have taken a more nuanced approach, announcing in early December that some of its films slated for theatrical release in 2021 will have their debut on Disney Plus while others will see a release in theaters around the world as planned.

Both AT&T and Disney have been forced to modify their usual theatrical release schedule due to the ongoing coronavirus health pandemic, which has weighed on the balance sheets of each company.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).