One of the most confusing things about the already fraught launch of HBO Max was how HBO Max would integrate with other HBO apps. At the time, there was HBO (cable subscription) plus HBO Go (the app to go with your cable subscription or add-on to another service) and HBO Now (a standalone subscription app). In addition to other issues (including the lack of availability on Roku or Amazon Fire TVs), HBO Max’s launch also failed to explain how to access their new product if consumers already had one of these other subscriptions or apps.
As reported today by THR’s Natalie Jarvey, WarnerMedia (HBO’s parent company) has heard our cries about the confusion and decided to make things … more confusing:
Just in: After some significant brand confusion around HBO Max and all the other HBO apps, WarnerMedia is officially “sunsetting” HBO Go and will rebrand HBO Now as, simply, HBO.
— Natalie Jarvey (@natjarv) June 12, 2020
Or as Paste contributor Jacob Oller translated:
HBO: HBO GO is dead those that use HBO GO to watch HBO can now watch HBO on HBO Max. However if you have HBO NOW, it’s now just called HBO and THAT’s where you’ll be watching HBO
— Jacob Oller (@JacobOller) June 12, 2020
Of course, let’s not forget the problem that HBO Max’s app is still not available on Roku and Fire TV which means that access could become even more limited:
This remains confusing. What streaming option will HBO subscribers have if they don’t subscribe via one of the companies that has a deal for an HBO Max upgrade? And/or anyone who has a device that isn’t Max compatible? And does HBO Now only exist for people with Roku/Fire Stick? https://t.co/ImthuJIReA
— Alan Sepinwall (@sepinwall) June 12, 2020
Or to paraphrase HBO’s own famous slogan:
It’s not TV, it’s pic.twitter.com/sG6LGbuI3i
— James Poniewozik (@poniewozik) June 12, 2020
Perhaps the only way to make it clear now is to brand it as such:
— Eric Goldman (@TheEricGoldman) June 12, 2020
(HBO) Now I need to (HBO) go lie down.
Allison Keene is the TV Editor of Paste Magazine. For more television talk, pop culture chat and general japery, you can follow her @keeneTV
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