Nearly six months after its launch in May 2020, HBO Max has finally come to Amazon’s Fire TV.
According to an Amazon blog post, the HBO Max app should now be available for download on Fire TV devices such as the Fire TV Cube, Fire TV Sitck/Stick Lite, Fire TV Stick 4K, as well as Fire TV Edition smart TVs. Users who subscribe to HBO through Amazon’s Fire TV platform, Hulu, DirecTV, and other bundled services can also access HBO Max content on Fire TV devices.
The news comes after six months of negotiations between Warner Media and the retail giant. Warner Media is owned by AT&T. At the time of writing this article, HBO Max is still not available on the Roku platform.
When HBO Max launched May 27, 2020, its lack of availability on Amazon Fire TV and Roku seemed like a glaring error. As of late 2019, Amazon laid claim to roughly 12% of the streaming device market, and as of January 2020, surpassed 40 million active users. Roku currently holds about 30% of the streaming device market and as of April 2020 had 39.8 million active users. All of those figures have likely risen over the past six months as streaming has surged amidst the global coronavirus pandemic.
The reason HBO Max was not available on Amazon Fire TV until now — and still isn’t on Roku — comes down to two key factors: Money and control. Amazon had initially wanted to grant its users access to HBO Max content through its Prime Video Channels service. HBO Max wanted to have its app on the Fire TV platform just like Netflix, Hulu, and other services. Apparently, the stalemate is over now that the HBO Max app is available for download.
As for the money part of things, Roku and Amazon are reportedly asking for a big cut of subscription costs. In its negotiations with Roku, this seems to be a sticking point for HBO Max. However, if Amazon was able to come to terms, perhaps Roku won’t be far behind.