(L) An AT&T logo and communication equipment is shown on a building in downtown Los Angeles, California October 29, 2014 and (R): The Time Warner building is pictured in New York, New York December 11, 2013. The $85-billion deal will enable AT&T to expand
(L) An AT&T logo and communication equipment is shown on a building in downtown Los Angeles, California October 29, 2014 and (R): The Time Warner building is pictured in New York, New York December 11, 2013. The $85-billion deal will enable AT&T to expand beyond wireless and Internet service into programming. Reuters file

Ten million AT&T customers in the United States, who are also HBO subscribers, will be able to enjoy HBO Max at no extra cost starting this spring, according to AT&T Chief Operating Officer John Stankey. This is also the first time that the company has revealed the figures. The new service will comprise movies, original shows and a wide range of U.S. TV classics.

This, however, is only a portion of the total subscribers who pay for any AT&T product such as AT&T wireless product service or DirectTV. Also, once the company launches its ad-supported option, it will introduce live programming on HBO Max. AT&T plans to reach out to 80 million global subscribers, with 50 million in the U.S. by 2025.

WarnerMedia expects that the service will get a boost, once AT&T launches its ad-supported option that will come at a lower cost. AT&T with this plan aims to use HBO Max in retaining its wireless subscribers in the long run.

The streaming war is heating up and AT&T is fast trying to catch up with the likes of Netflix, Amazon, Disney and Apple, who as of now seem to be quite ahead in the race. Apple will be launching Apple TV+ in November. Disney will also be foraying into the online streaming space days after Apple, while NBCUniversal is gearing up to explore the space with its new service Peacock.

Americans are shunning television

An increasing number of Americans are shunning television and are going for online streaming. This certainly will make AT&T hopeful but the road ahead will be tough given the rising competition. Although WarnerMedia is investing in children's content and will feature Sesame Street on HBO Max and Warner Brothers boasting equipped with a large library of films titles and TV series, it lacks the brand awareness like its rival Disney, which armed with properties like the MCU and Pixar.

Moreover, price too can post a barrier. HBO Max is likely to be higher priced than the $14.99 it charges for HBO. This is not only higher than Netflix, which charges $12.99, but also significantly higher than Apple and Disney's plans of $4.99 and $6.99, respectively.