WarnerMedia is finally addressing the confusing nature of its various HBO offerings through a much-needed consolidation effort. Here’s what you need to know.
Up to this point, HBO has operated its premium television service, HBO Go – the streaming app for those who also subscribe to the cable offering, HBO Now which is a standalone membership program for those who don’t have HBO through a cable provider and HBO Max which features existing programming plus other content from the WarnerMedia library. Each of the latter two offerings commands $14.99 per month.
Moving forward, HBO said it will be sunsetting the HBO Go service in the US on July 31, 2020. The HBO Now app, meanwhile, will be rebranded simply as HBO.
A spokesperson told CNBC that most people who previously used HBO Go through their cable provider will now have access to HBO Max.
So now, we’ve got HBO the cable network, HBO the streaming service and HBO Max, also a streaming service. That still sounds a little bloated IMO, but I suppose three options are easier to juggle than four. Perhaps when HBO Max becomes available across all platforms, further consolidation will take place. As it stands, HBO Max isn’t offered on Amazon and Roku devices due to unresolved licensing agreements, hence the need for its existence.