WarnerMedia announced on Friday plans to consolidate its various HBO-branded offerings. The company, which launched its HBO Max streaming service in May, will phase out HBO Go in July, while HBO Now will be folded into the HBO app at some point in the next few months. Current HBO Now subscribers will be able to continue accessing HBO through a rebranded HBO app on the same platforms they currently use HBO Now on. The company differentiated HBO Max and HBO by noting that HBO Max is an app that includes all of HBO together with additional WarnerMedia content offerings, while the HBO app will be a standalone streaming platform for the HBO service.
“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. “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.”
WarnerMedia’s move is a direct response to the confusion that has plagued HBO’s branding over the last few months as the company ramped up its HBO Max marketing. It’s unclear exactly how existing HBO Now and HBO Go users will be notified of the changes but WarnerMedia stated that it will work with its distribution partners to communicate the changes to its customers.
Though WarnerMedia inked deals to bring HBO Max to most platforms, the streaming service is noticeably absent on Roku and Amazon. The company does not have any update on any potential distribution deals with those entities.
WarnerMedia has yet to disclose the number people who have subscribed to HBO Max. The company is expected to reveal that number in AT&T’s Q2 earnings on July 23.