In the never-ending horserace between the steaming services, HBO just made big gains to compete with rival Netflix. HBO’s former parent company AT&T announced Thursday that total global HBO Max and HBO subscribers reached 76.8 million for the quarter ending on March 31, up 3 million from the previous quarter and up 12.8 million year-over-year.
While these numbers still pale in comparison to Netflix’s 222 million paying households, news of HBO’s growing user base comes on the heels of Netflix reporting a loss of 200,000 subscribers during the first quarter — its first quarterly subscriber loss in more than a decade. After posting its lackluster earnings results on Tuesday, Netflix’s stock then dropped 35% on Wednesday, erasing $50 billion from its market cap.
In a letter to shareholders, Netflix counted growing competition, shared subscriptions, and the boost to streaming from COVID-19 obscuring long-term user trends as among its greatest headwinds.
Those wanting to tune in to HBO’s growing popularity may want to consider the Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight Communication Services ETF (EWCO), which includes current HBO parent Warner Bros. Discovery (NASDAQ: WBD) as one of its top holdings.
EWCO seeks to track the investment results of the S&P 500® Equal Weight Communication Services Plus Index. The fund generally will invest at least 90% of its total assets in the securities that comprise the underlying index.
The underlying index is composed of all the components of the S&P 500® Communication Services Plus Index, an index that contains the common stocks of all companies included in the S&P 500® Index that are classified as members of the communication services sector, as defined according to the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS). The fund uses a mix of allocation styles, but primarily operates within large-cap value, blend, and growth, with some mid-cap value and blend styles added in.
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