The launch of HBO Max has not been a clear success, despite the new streaming service offering an abundance of content from classic movies, hit TV shows, and the entire HBO library for users. Part of that lackluster start might be attributed to the confusion surrounding HBO Max, the premium channel HBO, and that channel's two separate but similar streaming services HBO Go and HBO Now. Instead of dealing with that dilemma before the launch of HBO Max, parent company AT&T and Warner Media are now finally having to deal with that confusion, and that means streaming service has to go.
As focus on HBO Max continues, the company announced the somewhat redundant HBO Go will now be phased out while HBO Now will be rebranded as simply "HBO."
"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. We intend to remove the HBO GO app from primary platforms as of July 31, 2020," WarnerMedia said in a statement.
They added, "Most customers who have traditionally used HBO GO to stream HBO programming are now able to do so via HBO Max, which offers access to all of HBO together with so much more. Additionally, the HBO NOW app and desktop experience will be rebranded to 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. HBO Max provides not only the robust offering of HBO but also a vast WarnerMedia library and acquired content and originals through a modern product."
For DC Comics fans, HBO has also been confusing due to the fact that many of the superhero films that are currently available will soon be removed, though WarnerMedia told ComicBook.com that they would be replaced by others.
"We have a collection of DC films that will rotate on the platform. We have a new batch coming in July and then another batch coming in August," said an HBO Max spokesperson.
Without much original content despite an overwhelming library, it remains to be seen if HBO Max will be a hit among users and be a true competitor to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+.