In news I can only describe as “deeply shocking”, it turns out that launching a streaming service app when you already kind of have a streaming service app, as well as an app for your main service, plus a fourth (fifth?) app for most of your major DC Comics titles can actually get kind of confusing. We speak, of course, of HBO Max. WarnerMedia’s streamer launched on May 27, prompting questions about what that meant for subscribers who use HBO, HBO Go, HBO Now, and/or DC Universe.
According to THR’s digital media report Natalie Jarvey, HBO has decided to clear up any confusion by making things roughly 10-20% more confusing.
Just in: After some significant brand confusion around HBO Max and all the other HBO apps, WarnerMedia is officially “sunsetting” HBO Go and will rebrand HBO Now as, simply, HBO.
— Natalie Jarvey (@natjarv) June 12, 2020
So, to recap, it sounds like your HBO Now account will remain the same, just under a different label. If you have that, you also have HBO Max. Meanwhile, HBO Go users can still watch their HBO content and have access to HBO Max. Basically, there is just HBO and HBO Max. Don’t ask about anything else. They were a dream. The big bugaboo, however, and by far the most important question mark Warnermedia needs to answer, is the fact that HBO Max is still not available on Roku or Fire TV, while HBO Go and HBO Now both were.
It’s been a hell of a time for Bungled Branding, if you combine this with Sony announcing Spider-Man: Miles Morales, a game that’s not quite a full game but also isn’t an add-on, maybe. But the HBO Max situation is particularly disappointing because the streaming service’s library is genuinely fantastic, from the extensive TCM collection of classics to, like, six different Batman movies. The other night I used HBO Max to watch both 2001: A Space Odyssey and Suicide Squad back to back and it was one of the weirdest movie-watching experiences of my entire life. 10/10, highly recommend.
For more on HBO Max, here’s the deal with the slate of DC Comics movies that are leaving the service at the end of June.