After holding out for months, AT&T and Warner Bros. headline-grabbing streaming venture HBO Max is finally coming to Roku. Oh, and it’s on the PlayStation 5, too, but who cares about that, it’s coming to Roku tomorrow, December 17th. Roku made the announcement in a press release this afternoon.
It’s a big deal: the service launched in May without support for Amazon’s Fire TV and Roku, the two most popular (and least expensive!) smart TV platforms around. There was a lot of speculation as to why, and the speculative answer was and still is “money.” However much money changed hands, HBO Max landed on Fire TV streaming devices and Fire-powered smart TVs in November, exactly one month before the Roku release.
HBO Max appears to be WB’s all-in move to conquer streaming, with a huge library of content from the film and TV producer, along with decades of premium shows from HBO. The biggest bombshell dropped last week: all of WB’s 2021 planned movie releases will be hitting HBO Max on the same day as theaters, at no extra cost. That includes Wonder Woman 1984 (which releases Christmas Day), Godzilla vs. Kong, Dune, Matrix 4, and many other blockbusters.
With coverage on more or less every major smart TV platform, HBO Max is well-positioned to take on the juggernauts of the TV and movie industry, old and new: Disney and Netflix.