Showcasing the power and reach of Amazon, The Information reports that AT&T’s WarnerMedia division was only able to reach a deal to enable HBO Max on the Amazon Fire TV platform after the company agreed to extend its existing cloud services agreement with Amazon Web Services (AWS).
As with most of The Information’s inside dope, this report doesn’t come sourced, or confirmed by WarnerMedia and Amazon at this point.
But it's an interesting showcase of the power wielded by the three cloud-computing services giants, Amazon, Microsoft and Google.
AWS, the leader of that industry is Amazon’s biggest profit center. The unit reported an operating profit of $7.3 billion in 2018, 73% of Amazon’s total profits that year.
HBO Max launched in April, but its growth was stymied by WarnerMedia’s ability to launch an app on the two biggest connected TV device platforms, Roku and Amazon Fire TV.
Certainly, HBO Max needed Fire TV.
In early December, just around two weeks after finally establishing HBO Max on Amazon Fire TV, WarnerMedia reported that the HBO Max subscriber base had suddenly shot up by 4 million users to around 12.6 million.
As the impasses with Amazon and Roku drug on, the focus had been on WarnerMedia’s inability to extract the legacy “HBO” app from the respective “channels” business of the two device giants. WarnerMedia didn’t want HBO Max to be disaggregated through apps like Amazon Prime Video Channels or the Roku Channel.
It’s notable that very little of the reporting in publications like this one looked at the myriad relationships a giant tech companies like Amazon has with a telecom like AT&T.
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