Before finally touting the Roku distribution deal everyone had been waiting for, WarnerMedia on Wednesday also announced that its HBO Max app is now supported by Sony’s new PlayStation 5.
The "Max" app upgrades the legacy HBO service into a broader streamed offering. It will soon include new-release theatrical film titles, including Wonder Woman 1984. The new HBO app is also now supported by the legacy PlayStation 4 console.
With the integration into Sony’s PS4 and PS5 consoles, the latter of which debuted Nov. 12 with a $399 price, HBO Max is supported by all the major OTT platforms. This includes Amazon Fire TV devices; Apple products including the Apple TV 4K OTT player and iOS mobile gadgets; and Google products including Android TV devices and Android tablets and smart phones. Microsoft’s Xbox consoles, including the new Series X/S, and Samsung smart TVs also support HBO Max.
Earlier this week, WarnerMedia announced that HBO Max has finally been integrated into the Xfinity X1 and Flex set-tops of America’s biggest pay TV operator, Comcast.
The only remaining bogy on WarnerMedia’s radar was the biggest one of all, Roku.
A deal with Roku finally came a month to the day (Nov. 16) in which Amazon and WarnerMedia broke a similar negotiating chasm, and brought HBO Max to the No. 2 OTT platform, Amazon Fire TV.
Two weeks ago, Andy Forssell, executive VP and general manager of WarnerMedia's direct-to-consumer products, expressed confidence that ongoing talks between his company and Roku would result in HBO Max gaining entry onto a platform that runs more than half of U.S. connected TVs. “We'll get it done,” Forssell told investors.
That Amazon deal brought an immediate customer boost for HBO Max, which ended the third quarter with only around 8.6 million of the 38 million total HBO subscribers having upgraded to the new “Max” service. John Stankey, CEO of WarnerMedia parent company AT&T, said last week that around 4 million users have signed up for HBO Max since the company’s Q3 earnings report, which was soon followed by the Fire TV integration.
There is currently a big chunk of HBO subscribers who are stuck using the legacy HBO app on Roku.
As for the PS5, it now supports all the major SVOD services. Sony, however, still hasn’t announced PS4 and PS5 support for Sling TV.
Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!
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