Rahul Sachitanand
Jun 4, 2021

HBO Max preps launch across Southeast Asia markets

The streaming service hires former Disney+ leader Amit Malhotra as MD for SEA and India as a launch looms in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

Amit Malhotra
Amit Malhotra

HBO Max, the video streaming service of Warner Media, expects to soon launch across Southeast Asia and has appointed Amit Malhotra as managing director in Southeast Asia and India. The service will launch in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam in the future, the company announced. It did not reveal specific dates.

Malhotra will also be responsible for exploring possible opportunities to launch HBO Max in new and fast-growing Asian streaming markets such as India. He will report to Johannes Larcher, head of HBO Max International, and will be responsible for the rollout and management of WarnerMedia’s direct-to-consumer platform in Southeast Asia. 

APAC, especially South and Southeast Asia, is a key focus market for HBO Max, with also has launches slated for Latin America on June 29 and later in Europe, Larcher said. "Amit’s experience launching streaming services in both mature and emerging markets across Southeast Asia and the surrounding region make him the ideal leader to plan and oversee the rollout of HBO Max and its expanded content offering and platform experience," he added. 

On his plans for the video streaming service, Malhotra said: “WarnerMedia’s brands including DC Universe, HBO and Cartoon Network are extremely popular with passionate fans and audiences across this region. With a focus on consumers, our goal will be to bring all of these brands and content together...as we move into the future with HBO Max.”

Malhotra was most recently regional lead for Disney+ in Southeast Asia, where he was responsible for overseeing the launch and operations of Disney’s streaming services in the region, including Disney+, Disney+ Hotstar and Hotstar. He also led the content sales and distribution division as part of The Walt Disney Company’s direct-to-consumer and International (DTCI) business in South APAC and Middle East. 

Clement Schwebig, managing director, India, Southeast Asia, and Korea for WarnerMedia, will work with Malhotra on this launch, as will David Simonsen, who played an important role in the growth of the now phased out HBO GO in Southeast Asia. Other members of the team include Magdalene Ew (head of content), Yasmin Zahid head of distribution) and Leslie Lee (head of kids, APAC). 

HBO Max has added 11.1 million HBO/HBO Max subscribers in the US as of the end of Q1 2021. The platform will roll out in 39 territories across Latin America and the Caribbean on June 29, and HBO’s existing OTT services in Europe are scheduled to be upgraded to HBO Max later this year. By the end of 2021, HBO Max is expected to be available in 61 global markets.

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