Amazon and WarnerMedia have reached a new temporary agreement that will allow HBO Now customers to continue streaming on Fire TV as the companies continue negotiations on HBO Max.
Before continuing, let’s analyze this situation. In April, WarnerMedia launched its new crown jewelery streaming service, HBO Max. The app was made available everywhere except for Amazon Fire TV and Roku. Two weeks after the launch of HBO Max, WarnerMedia announced that it would be ditching the HBO Go app. This is how HBO customers who bought the network through their cable provider were able to stream content. At the same time, WarnerMedia announced that the HBO Now app would simply become HBO. To quickly summarize: HBO Go is disappearing, HBO Now is becoming HBO, and HBO Max is not yet available to Amazon customers.
WarnerMedia also announced at the time that Amazon would not launch the new HBO app as of July 31. This meant that the approximately 5 million HBO subscribers on Amazon would not be able to see the network. Now, however, Amazon and WarnerMedia have reached an agreement to allow HBO Now customers to stream the network for the time being, according to Variety.
As part of the new deal, standard HBO subscribers who have their subscription through Amazon Prime’s video channels (the ecosystem that houses plenty of additional channels) can continue to stream the network. If HBO remains part of the Canales ecosystem it is an ongoing part of the dispute between WarnerMedia and Amazon. Negotiations for HBO Max have reportedly stalled.
Is everything unnecessarily complicated? You gamble! Does this mean that HBO Now customers will forever use the new HBO app? Who knows! Will HBO Max ever hit Amazon? I wish I had a Magic 8-Ball to consult.
There is also the other elephant in the room: Roku. HBO Max has also not landed on the platform, and HBO Go is also being sunset. But unlike Amazon, WarnerMedia and Roku already had an agreement to allow HBO Now customers to continue streaming on the new HBO app.
So why is everything so confusing? WarnerMedia wants its HBO clients to use HBO Max. That means both cable clients and digital streamers using HBO Now. Converting those subscribers has been a hassle for WarnerMedia, according to AT&T CEO John Stankey, who spoke about HBO Max in AT & T’s recent earnings call. Getting rid of HBO Go and HBO Now as names allows WarnerMedia to make offerings a bit simpler in the future: HBO and HBO Max. I imagine the goal is to finally offer only HBO Max.
Trying to understand WarnerMedia’s (and, to a greater extent, AT & T’s) brand strategies is an exhausting task. But all you need to know is that if you subscribe to HBO Now or HBO through Amazon Prime video channels, you will still be able to stream the network starting August 1. Feel free to enjoy Perry Mason at a slow speed instead of trying to put everything at once.