December 16, 2020
WarnerMedia and Roku Dec. 16 announced an agreement to finally bring HBO Max to the Roku platform. Starting Dec. 17, Roku users will be able to download HBO Max from the Roku channel store and subscribe directly on their Roku device to access all of Max, which includes 10,000 hours of curated premium storytelling from HBO, Warner Bros., DC, Adult Swim and more. For users who have already subscribed to HBO through their Roku devices, the HBO app will automatically update to become the Max app, and they will be able to log in using their existing HBO credentials.
The agreement comes just nine days ahead of the highly anticipated Wonder Woman 1984 debut in theaters and on Max on Christmas Day the latter to subs via Roku devices directly from their living rooms at no additional cost.
“We believe that all entertainment will be streamed and we are thrilled to partner with HBO Max to bring their incredible library of iconic entertainment brands and blockbuster slate of direct to streaming theatrical releases to Roku households,” Scott Rosenberg, SVP of platform business at Roku, said in a statement. “Reaching mutually beneficial agreements where Roku grows together with [its] partners is how we deliver an exceptional user experience at an incredible value for consumers.”
Indeed, Max’s launch seven months ago was negatively impacted by the app’s non-availability on both Amazon Fire TV and Roku platforms — the two collectively accounting for more than 50% of consumers’ Web access, according to Comscore. Max and Fire TV inked an agreement a month earlier on Nov. 17.
Max adoption is now past 12.6 million subs, up from 8.6 million at the end of the most-recent fiscal period. Since launching on May 27, the $15 monthly SVOD service is available for free to its 42 million combined HBO pay-TV (and HBO Now) subs in the U.S. Adoption of Max has been slow, with fewer than 3 million pay-TV subs signing up through June — a reality driven by confusing access rules and unavailability on the Roku platform.
“We’re breaking new ground in the months ahead, and we can’t wait to work with our longtime partners at Roku to build on our past successes and bring HBO Max’s best-in-class quality entertainment to Roku’s large and highly engaged audience,” said Tony Goncalves, chief revenue officer at WarnerMedia.
Roku users can get the new HBO Max channel or find it in the “New and Notable” and “Movies & TV” categories of the Roku channel store to add it to their Roku home screen.