HBO Max will launch its dedicated app on Amazon’s Fire TV devices — including its popular dongle often referred to as ‘Firestick — and Fire tablets starting Tuesday, the companies said Monday, giving HBO Max streaming customers support for the easiest and simplest way to watch.
The deal puts to rest a major standoff that likely crimped HBO Max’s traction since launching in May, and also leaves Roku as the last major streaming-device platform still lacking support for HBO’s app, which offers extra movies, shows and originals that you can’t get on the regular premium network.
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HBO Max, the streaming service from AT&T’s WarnerMedia, launched in late May as another splashy new service in the so-called streaming wars, a seven-month period when from a media and technology giants rolled out their own, big-budget takes on streaming TV. Just like Disney Plus, Apple TV Plus and NBCUniversal’s Peacock. And streaming has grown more popular than ever during the coronavirus pandemic, amplifying the long trend of people watching more of their video online.
But now, the most powerful TV app distributors and deep-pocketed media companies have drawn a battle line for control of the data and money generated by your streaming activity. It’s led to standoffs pitting device makers Roku and Amazons against big new services HBO Max and Peacock as both sides try to entrench positions of power for the next era of TV, manifesting in these “blackouts” of apps on some of the most popular streaming platforms.
Unfortunately, that puts people like you in the middle of a power battle: Until the companies reconcile, you can’t watch all the biggest services on the most popular streaming devices.
Both HBO Max and Peacock launched without apps on Roku’s or Amazon’s Fire TV devices, even though their products are the most pervasive ways to stream on televisions in the US. Together, the two companies’ streaming devices and smart TVs make up 70% of all the streaming devices installed in the US last year, and they reach roughly 80 million active users between them globally.
The device makers and streaming services have reached patchwork support over the months. HBO Max reached a deal with Amazon’s Fire line of devices Monday, but HBO Max’s app is still missing from Roku devices. Peacock and Roku reached a deal in September to support Peacock app on that platform, but that leaves Amazon’s Fire TV as the only major platform without Peacock.
HBO Max: How to get it