HBO Max launched on Wednesday and things seemed to go off without a hitch, at least compared to other services in the past. There didn't seem to be any noticeable bugs or issues facing new subscribers, and most people seemed pleased with the user interface and deep library of content. However, while the service itself is working just fine, it's not available on two of the biggest streaming providers. HBO Max is currently unavailable on Roku and Amazon devices, as WarnerMedia has yet to finalize a deal with either company. Unfortunately for Amazon users, it looks like a contract between the two sides still needs a lot more work.
Streaming deal hangups like these usually come down to monetization, but the issues facing WarnerMedia's dealings with Amazon run a little bit deeper. After users voiced their frustrations with HBO Max's absence from Amazon Fire devices on Wednesday, the company released a statement and explained why it hasn't yet reached a deal with WarnerMedia.
"With a seamless customer experience, nearly 5 million HBO streamers currently access their subscription through Amazon's Prime Video Channels," a company spokeswoman said. "Unfortunately, with the launch of HBO Max, AT&T is 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."
Like traditional cable companies, Amazon offers HBO as an add-on for Prime members. That option isn't going anywhere, but WarnerMedia isn't making the HBO Max content available as part of those deals, which would mean that Amazon customers would need to cancel their HBO add-on subscriptions and sign up for Max. Amazon obviously doesn't want that to happen, so here we are.
A deal with Roku seems like it will come a lot sooner for HBO Max than one with Amazon. In Roku's statement about the service on Wednesday, the company simply said it was seeking a mutually beneficial agreement, which seems like pretty standard contract talk.
"As the No. 1 streaming platform in the US we believe that HBO Max would benefit greatly from the scale and content marketing capabilities available with distribution on our platform," Roku said in a statement. "We are focused on mutually positive distribution agreements with all new (over-the-top) services that will deliver a quality user experience to viewers in the more than 40 million households that choose Roku to access their favorite programs and discover new content.
"Unfortunately we haven't reached agreement yet with HBO Max. While not on our platform today, we look forward to helping HBO Max in the future successfully scale their streaming business."
Has the lack of a deal with Amazon or Roku kept you from signing up for HBO Max? Let us know in the comments!