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HBO Max: 'We’re Going to Replace Every Single Connected TV App in the Next Four or Five Months'

HBO Max
(Image credit: HBO Max)

WarnerMedia attributes a flurry of recent bugs for the HBO Max on certain connected TV platforms to the fact that the Max software wasn't built from scratch, but rather extrapolated from the original blueprints of legacy applications HBO Go and HBO Now. 

“We’re going to replace every single connected TV app in the next four or five months,” an unnamed WarnerMedia executive told Vulture, in a deep dive into HBO Max's app issues. 

Subscriber complaints about the HBO Max app on connected TV device platforms including Roku and Apple TV ran high over the late spring and early summer, a period that coincided with WarnerMedia software engineers trying to add further functionality to the HBO Max app that accounted for the addition of a $9.99-a-month, partially ad-supported tier. 

WarnerMedia believe that most of the bugs stemmed from the core fact that the HBO Max wasn't purpose built, but rather adapted from HBO Now and HBO Go, which were programmed to handle broad-scale streaming of a limited number of shows in a specific country. 

There were few complaints about HBO's software when all that was required was to make sure the app didn't crash during Game of Thrones' final season, for example. 

“That program was built for scale, and it was rock solid,” he says.

But add the complexity of a lot more shows, a lot more regions, and multiple tiers, and all of the sudden you have an app that has issues on key platforms.  

According to the Vulture interview, WarnerMedia has been working on new app since late last year, when it paid $100 million to acquire Canadian video tech company You.i TV. 

The unnamed WarnerMedia executive told Vulture the new app won't look wildly different from the current iteration. 

However, “It will be wildly better than what’s out there,” the exec said. “It will just work better across the board.”

Daniel Frankel

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. His reliable mid-range jump shot, deft ambidextrous post-up game and tough interior defense have been criminally overlooked.