Amazon and WarnerMedia have signed a new interim agreement to allow the company to continue negotiating with HBO Max while HBO Now customers continue streaming on Fire TV.
I will analyze this situation before going further. In April, WarnerMedia launched HBO Max, a new crown jewel streaming service. This app was provided everywhere except Amazon Fire TV and Roku. Two weeks after HBO Max was released, WarnerMedia announced the removal of the HBO Go app. It's a way for HBO customers who have purchased a network through a cable provider to stream content. At the same time, WarnerMedia announced that the HBO Now app would simply be HBO. In summary, HBO Go is disappearing, HBO Now is becoming HBO, and HBO Max is still not available to Amazon customers. WarnerMedia also announced that Amazon will not offer a new HBO app as of July 31st. This meant that there was no way for about 5 million HBO subscribers on Amazon to see the network. However, according to Variety Amazon and WarnerMedia have signed an agreement for HBO Now customers to stream the network for the time being.
As part of the new deal, subscriptions via standard HBO subscribers Amazon Prime Video Channels (an ecosystem with multiple add-on channels) can continue to stream the network. Whether HBOs remain part of the channel ecosystem is a constant part of the conflict between WarnerMedia and Amazon. Negotiations on HBO Max have been suspended, according to reports.
Isn't it all complicated? Sure! Does this mean that HBO Now customers will use the new branded HBO app forever? Who knows! Is HBO Max available on Amazon? We hope Magic 8-Ball will consult.
Another elephant is Roku. Neither HBO Max has landed on the platform, and HBO Go is also at sunset. However, unlike Amazon, WarnerMedia and Roku have signed an agreement to allow HBO Now customers to continue streaming in their newly designated HBO app.
So why are you so confused? WarnerMedia wants HBO customers to use HBO Max. This means a digital first streamer using cable customers and HBO Now. Subscriber switching was a big challenge for Warner Media, according to AT&T CEO John Stankey, who spoke about HBO Max in AT&T's recent import currency. Remove HBO Go and HBO Now WarnerMedia can make offers a little simpler by name: HBO and HBO Max. The goal, after all, is to provide only HBO Max.
Trying to understand WarnerMedia (and AT&T)'s branding strategy is a tough task. However, if you sign up for HBO Now or HBO through Amazon Prime Video Channels, you can continue streaming your network from August 1. Please enjoy Perry Mason at a leisurely pace instead of putting it all together at once.