Regular users of HBO Go, the streaming app for HBO pay-TV subscribers, will have to wave goodbye to the service, which is being shut down on July 31. HBO Go’s retirement comes off the back of the recent launch of HBO Max, a new standalone TV streaming service that offers over 10,000 hours of premium content including HBO content alongside shows and movies from Warner Bros, New Line, Cartoon Network and more. HBO Max is designed to blend together HBO’s two existing services, HBO Go and HBO Now.
HBO Now is a streaming service for users who want HBO content without signing up for cable, while HBO Go is a streaming service that comes with your cable subscription, letting you watch your content online. HBO Max will cover both of these eventualities, so there’s no need for HBO Go to stick around.
There’s just one problem though - HBO Max isn’t available on all the devices that HBO Go was, most notably Roku and Amazon Fire TV. This means that if you’re subscribed to HBO and rely on those devices to watch your streaming content, then you’re out of luck for the time being.
A HBO spokesperson stated that, "While we don't yet have a distribution deal with Amazon or Roku, we remain committed to making HBO Max available on every platform possible to as many viewers as possible." It’s almost certain that HBO Max will make its way to Roku and Amazon devices, but how long those negotiations will last is anyone’s guess.
Weirdly, HBO Now isn’t being killed off in the same way, but instead the app itself will be rebranded as just HBO. Considering the fact that HBO Now costs the same as HBO Max, but offers less content, we’re assuming that HBO Now will also be shuffled off stage in the near future as users are transferred over to HBO Max.
So what are your options if you’re a HBO subscriber who uses Roku or Fire TV to stream your content? For now you’re going to have to watch HBO using cable or satellite connection. "The large majority of HBO Go usage occurs on platforms with whom we have HBO Max deals currently in place," according to a HBO spokesperson, though this will provide little comfort for those who will now be cut off from their premium streaming content.
What is HBO Max?
HBO Max is a standalone TV and movie streaming service streaming service from HBO which has a huge library of content. This includes “all of HBO”, so you can expect to see smash hits like Game of Thrones and Westworld on there, along with the latest blockbuster movies like Joker and Ad Astra. There's also a ton of other TV series on there including Friends, Rick & Morty, and The Big Bang Theory.
There will also be a host of HBO Max Originals. These are shows that will only be available on the service including kids content like Looney Tunes Cartoons and The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo, alongside adult content like Legendary and Love Life.
HBO Max costs $14.99 per month as a standalone service, but you get access for free if you’re a HBO or HBO Now subscriber, provided your provider is supported. The full list of supported providers can be found on the HBO Max website. It’s basically everyone except Roku and Amazon though, so if you’re not with them then chances are you’re good.
While it doesn’t work on Roku or Amazon Fire TV devices yet, you can download HBO Max on just about everything else including most of the best TVs, smartphones, and tablets. You can also get the app on your PS4 or Xbox One.