Now exactly two months into its launch, HBO Max has been stunted by a lack of app support on the two biggest connected TV platforms, Roku and Amazon Fire TV.
But while every day that the HBO Max app remains shut out of these two platforms hurts the proliferation of the new streaming service, another timeline quietly ticks away—support for the legacy HBO Now app on Amazon Fire TV.
As reported by Variety earlier this month, AT&T and its WarnerMedia division don’t have a deal in place to maintain support for even the legacy HBO Now app on Fire TV devices after July 31.
Next TV sent emails requesting status updates to any negotiations to both Amazon and WarnerMedia July 27. We haven’t heard anything back yet.
The legacy HBO Now app is set to be rebranded by WarnerMedia as simply the “HBO” app after July 31. Roku users will still be able to access that legacy app.
As part of the rebranding, the legacy HBO Go app is being terminated after July 31.
Unless WarnerMedia and Amazon can come to an agreement, HBO subscribers will not be able to access a standalone HBO app on Fire TV of any kind, effective August 1. However, HBO subscribers will have access to HBO content through the Amazon Prime Video app.
OK, why does this matter? Well, lots of people are still using HBO Now.
According to an analysis of HBO app users conducted by Reelgood in the 14 days after HBO Max’s May 27 launch, 29% were still using the HBO Now app to access HBO content.
Last week, during AT&T’s second quarter earnings call, AT&T CEO John Stankey addressed the Amazon impasse: “We tried repeatedly to make HBO Max available to all customers using Amazon Fire devices including those customers that have purchased HBO via Amazon,” Stankey said. “Unfortunately Amazon has taken an approach of treating HBO Max and its customers differently than how they've chosen to treat other services and their customers.”
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