Last week we told you that HBO Max will soon be available on Amazon devices such as Fire TV streaming devices, Fire TV Edition smart TVs, and Fire tablets. It seems Amazon had to make some concessions behind the scenes for this deal to finally come to fruition. Some sources say that one of the things they had to agree on was that HBO will no longer be available as an Amazon channel when their placement agreement expires in 2021.
CNBC reports this “win” for AT & T’s WarnerMedia, which was pushing to eliminate HBO in places like Amazon Channels (Roku, you’ll probably be next). Their goal is for their main streaming app, HBO Max, to be the entry point for all streaming services. Talks between them and Amazon have been going on for months, but have reportedly terminated this deal, sources familiar with the matter said.
Currently, consumers can subscribe to HBO through the Amazon Channels store, but HBO Max offers much more original programming and a catalog of classics. Those who have subscribed through Amazon channels can log into HBO Max at no additional charge for now. But when the license agreement for HBO’s legacy streaming service ends next year, users won’t be able to access it through channels.
WarnerMedia, of course, wants to push the new kid on the HBO Max block to 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, as subscriber growth can suffer once HBO leaves Amazon channels. We will probably see the effect after the legacy HBO wears off.
HBO Max is reportedly working on an ad-supported version that will launch next year. It’s still too early to tell if this streaming service is making a dent or impact on the market or if too many streaming services already exist.