HBO Downsizes Apps, Increases Confusion

As expected, WarnerMedia is consolidating its HBO Go, HBO Now and HBO Max apps in an attempt to declutter the brand’s over-the-top video offerings to consumers. In the process, however, the corporate umbrella to Warner Bros., HBO and Turner has seemingly complicated matters.

With the high-profile HBO Max spearheading WarnerMedia’s OTT aspirations, the former Time Warner conglomerate June 12 announced it is phasing out HBO Go (on July 31), the OTT on-demand platform for HBO pay-TV subscribers. WarnerMedia will meld Go users into Max at no extra charge.

HBO Now, the 5-year-old standalone SVOD service ($14.99), will simply be called HBO. This, despite the fact Now subs who access the platform through HBONow.com, Google or Apple TV will be automatically switched to Max at no extra charge.

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And HBO Now subs who access via Roku, Amazon Prime Channels or third-party ISP must download the Max app and re-register. Go users who access HBO via Prime Channels are out of luck unless they download the Max app separately.

Max, which has generated upwards of 1.8 million app downloads, is also available via AT&T TV, Hulu, YouTube TV, Comcast, Charter/Spectrum, Altice (Optimum and SuddenLink), Verizon, Cox Communications and NCTC (WOW, Atlantic Broadband, RCN, Grande Communications & Wave and MCTV). Due to negotiation issues, Max is not available via Roku or Amazon Fire TV — while HBO Go is. But Max is available via the Android and iOS app, Samsung TV, Android TV, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Google Chromecast.

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