Amazon has buried the hatchet with AT&T’s WarnerMedia and will bring HBO Max to Fire TV devices on Tuesday, November 17. Fire TV users can find the app by saying “Alexa, open HBO Max.”
HBO Max launched in late May, with an expanded catalog of movies and shows for the same $15 per month price as HBO alone. But until now, the service hasn’t been available on Fire TV devices. As Variety reported in July, a main point of contention was Amazon’s Prime Video Channels store, which already distributes HBO to roughly five million subscribers. WarnerMedia wanted Amazon to stop selling those subscriptions, while Amazon wanted its existing subscribers to get the broader Max catalog.
Amazon appears to have prevailed on the latter front, as customers who subscribe to HBO through Prime Video Channels will now be able to log into the HBO Max app with their Amazon credentials. Still, Amazon won’t be offering HBO Max’s expanded content through its own Prime Video interface. To watch old shows like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air or new exclusives like The Flight Attendant, subscribers will have to use the HBO Max app.
Carriage disputes have been a recurring issue for new streaming services. Although Amazon now offers HBO Max on Fire TV devices, it’s still missing NBC’s Peacock, which launched broadly in July. And while Roku now offers Peacock on its streaming devices, it doesn’t yet have a deal with WarnerMedia for HBO Max. Meanwhile, Apple TV+ remains unavailable on Google’s Android TV and Chromecast platforms, except on a handful of Sony TVs.
Like Amazon’s fight with WarnerMedia, we can only hope these disputes are just temporary, and not the new normal for the streaming wars.