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HBO Max’s Kilar: ‘There are alternatives in Google Chromecast and Apple TV’

(Image credit: Verizon/Vessel)

Just wait until stocking-stuffer time.

That was perhaps the most interesting declaration made by WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar in an interview with Bloomberg, published right after parent company AT&T went Godfather II on its media division’s senior executive staff, axing Robert Greenblatt and Kevin Reilly and buttressing the reign of the former Hulu chief executive, just appointed in April. 

Also read: WarnerMedia Restructures Under Kilar; Greenblatt and Reilly Out

Asked by Bloomberg if there are some technology companies that are just too big, the otherwise close-to-the-vest Kilar took the bait, signaling out Amazon, which along with Roku, does not support WarnerMedia’s new HBO Max app on its connected TV devices. 

“If Amazon were truly focused just on the consumers with Fire devices, HBO Max would be on Fire devices. The consumer wants it,” Kilar said.

Will HBO Max ever by supported by Amazon Fire TV and Roku. 

Kilar said his mom considers him optimistic, and that optimistic side of him sure hopes so. 

He thinks the holiday gift-giving season, a time when OTT devices have been hot buys in recent years, will put pressure on Amazon and Roku. 

“As we head into the fourth quarter, when gift giving happens, it becomes a more material situation for a seller of hardware. There are alternatives in Google Chromecast and Apple TV,” Kilar said. 

Bloomberg notes that WarnerMedia’s 25,000-member staff is about to undergo some recessionary pruning under Kilar. But the interview fixates quite bit on the fate of the pay TV bundle…and how it’s fading, but will never really go away…

Thinks perk up a little when Kilar talks about Hulu’s decision to launch in Japan as opposed to embark on a full-fledged international strategy, as Netflix did. 

“If you talked to any of them today, they’d say it was a mistake,” Kilar said. “I’d say it was a mistake, and one of my biggest regrets was not being able to persuade the board of Hulu to go international.”