AT&T and WarnerMedia are working to simplify the existing HBO app universe in part by shutting down HBO Go, the premium network’s long-running TV Everywhere app.
The company said that it will remove the HBO Go app from primary platforms on July 31, 2020 but said that most customers who have traditionally used HBO Go for streaming HBO content will be able to continue doing the same thing with the HBO Max app.
“Now that HBO Max has launched and is widely distributed, we can implement some significant changes to our app offering in the U.S. As part of that plan, we will be sunsetting our HBO GO service in the U.S.,” the company said in a statement.
WarnerMedia is also rebranding the HBO Now app and desktop portal as HBO. Existing HBO now subscribers will have access to HBO through the rebranded HBO app on platforms where it remains available and through play.hbo.com.
The changes should help remedy some of the confusion and fragmentation that surrounds HBO Max, which launched on May 27. AT&T’s new subscription streaming service – priced at $14.99/month – combines all of HBO with a large library of licensed series and films along with original content.
Current HBO subscribers who get their service and are direct-billed through AT&T, AT&T TV, DirecTV, U-Verse TV, Cox, Hulu, Optimum, Spectrum, Suddenlink, Verizon Fios TV and some independent cable providers like WOW!, Atlantic Broadband, RCN and MCTV, among others, get access to HBO Max at no extra cost. Existing HBO Now direct-billed customers, as well as those who are billed through Apple, Google Play, Samsung, Optimum and Verizon Fios Internet got instant access to HBO Max on launch day.
However, HBO Max still doesn’t have an app on Amazon and Roku devices. Those companies have a combined active user base of more than 80 million.
Amazon said it has nearly five million HBO Now subscribers on its Prime Video Channels platform and accused AT&T of “choosing to deny these loyal HBO customers access to the expanded catalog.”
“We believe that if you’re paying for HBO, you’re entitled to the new programming through the method you’re already using. That’s just good customer service and that’s a priority for us," said an Amazon spokesperson.