Just last week we told you that HBO Max will soon be available on Amazon devices like the Fire TV streaming devices, Fire TV Edition smart TVs, and Fire tablets. It looks like Amazon had to make a few concessions behind the scenes for this deal to finally happen. Some sources are saying that one of the things that they had to agree on was that HBO will no longer be available as an Amazon Channel when their placement deal expires by 2021.
CNBC reports this “victory” for AT&T’s WarnerMedia which was lobbying to remove HBO in places like Amazon Channels (Roku, you’re probably up next). They are aiming that their main streaming app, HBO Max, be the point of entry for all streaming services. Talks between them and Amazon have been going on for months but they have reportedly finalized this deal sources familiar with the matter have said.
Currently, consumers are able to subscribe to HBO through the Amazon Channels store but HBO Max offers a lot more original programming and back catalog of classics. Those who have subscribed through Amazon Channels are able to log in to HBO Max at no extra charge for now. But when the licensing deal ends for the legacy HBO streaming service next year, users will not be able to access it through the channels.
WarnerMedia of course wants to push the new kid on the block HBO Max on consumers and have them sign up directly with the service and then stream them through devices like Amazon Fire TV. But there is also a downside to that as subscriber growth may be affected once HBO is out of Amazon Channels. We’ll probably see the effect of it after legacy HBO disappears.
HBO Max is reportedly working on an advertising-supported version that will be launched next year. It’s still too early to say if this streaming service is making a dent or impact in the market or if there are just too many streaming services out there already.