For the first time, HBO Max landed on the quarterly rankings of the top 10 most-downloaded apps in the U.S. for the first quarter of 2021, as tracked by research firm App Annie. The subscription-streaming app stood at No. 9 for the period, just behind Netflix, among perennial top-charters like TikTok, YouTube and Facebook (see full list below). Undoubtedly, HBO Max got a roaring boost by the March 31 premiere of “Godzilla vs. Kong.”
In addition, HBO Max also ranked No. 5 overall in the U.S. on consumer in-app spending for Q1, behind YouTube, Tinder, Disney Plus and Twitch, according to App Annie. (Note that Netflix and Spotify are among the streaming services that do not let customers subscribe via in-app payments.)
Earlier this week Warner Bros. said “Godzilla vs. Kong” had a “larger viewing audience than any other film or show on HBO Max since launch” — but it didn’t provide any actual numbers.
There’s other evidence that the creature feature provided a significant lift to HBO Max. For the week of March 28, HBO Max registered its third-highest total time spent viewing following the Dec. 25 bow of “Wonder Woman 1984” and after its May 2020 debut, according to data from analytics provider TVision provided exclusively to Variety Intelligence Platform (subscription required).
HBO Max also saw a noticeable bump in viewing with the Feb. 12 premiere of “Judas and the Black Messiah,” the TVision data shows. The film went on to pick up six Oscars nominations including for best picture and for stars Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield. In addition, during Q1, the streaming service debuted “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” and “The Little Things,” both of which capture a notable share of streaming viewing in their opening weekends, according to streaming guide site Reelgood.
The simultaneous release of “Godzilla vs. Kong” on HBO Max and in theaters is part of WarnerMedia’s pandemic-induced plan to release every single movie on the Warner Bros. 2021 slate day-and-date, available to stream for a 31-day window on HBO Max. The company has said that starting in 2022, it will give tentpole films exclusive theatrical runs.
For the year-end 2020 quarter, AT&T said “Wonder Woman 1984” helped the streaming service double activations in Q4, to 17.2 million. The company is scheduled to report Q1 results on April 22.
Meanwhile, during the pandemic, consumers have been spending more time than ever using apps. For Q1, the global average time spent in apps was 4.2 hours a day, up 30% compared to two years prior, according to App Annie. In the first three months of the year daily time spent in apps by U.S. users topped four hours for the first time (up 25% compared with Q1 2019), per the researcher.
Total U.S. spending on in-app purchases hit a record $10.2 billion across Apple and Google app stores in Q1, up 60% from the year prior, the App Annie report found.
Top 10 Apps by Downloads for U.S., Q1 2021
Source: App Annie