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It's ironic that Roku, which became popular because it was among the most open of systems, has now done a complete about-face and become obstructionist. HBO Max is widely available on competing systems except for Fire, and in Fire's case it is easy to get around the issue by side-loading it. Roku is making the classic mistake that companies so often do -- turning its back on what made it popular in an effort to squeeze out a few more dollars for its shareholders. It might work in the short run, but engaging in tactics that alienate customers is not smart in the long run.
ROKU does not care about its customers it only cares about being greedy like Time Warner Cable was when it pulled CBS from its platform a number of years ago. But ROKU has to remember what happened to Time Warner Cable when it got greedy. Its customers left in droves and Time Warner Cable ceased to exist.
Yeah, I've about had enough. I've got 4 Rokus in my house and I can only watch HBO Max on my phone? Seriously? Come on! This is crazy.
Nobody cares about the stupid Roku Channel. Does anybody even use that? I have all of my subs direct through the service itself, not Roku and I'm loathe to throw away the $3 a month discount I got on HBO Max just because Roku are being greedy idiots.
I have Comcast internet so I can get a Flex for free and Max is supposed to be available on that. I really don't want to shell out $150-200 for an Apple or Nvidia device just for one freaking app. This is makes me madder and madder the more I think about it. I really don't see the point in any of this. Both sides are doing nothing but losing money and ticking everybody off, making Roku look greedy and HBOMax like a poorly conceived flop.
Time Warner was purchased by AT&T and the company is now $155 billion in debt (and that's after $42 billion in tax breaks). That's why it's so astonishing that they launched HBO Max (presumably their long term content platform as cable and satellite slowly die off) with no contracts with the two biggest streaming device providers.
They should've had agreements with Roku and Amazon in place before they started selling subscriptions. They would have more subs already if they were available on the most popular platforms and have probably already lost a decent percentage of people who signed up for the pre-release discount because it wasn't available on their devices.
I also imagine some Roku customers switched platforms if they could afford to as well. This will be especially bad for Roku if this drags on and they have more access problems with Peacock or other major streaming services or channels like the Fox dispute around the Super Bowl.
ROKU also knows that they have many people by the you know what because they made major financial investments by buying large screen ROKU TVs and cannot afford to drop ROKU. So ROKU can refuse to put HBO MAX and probably PEACOCK in July off their platform and just laugh.
"...I have Comcast internet so I can get a Flex for free and Max is supposed to be available on that. I really don't want to shell out $150-200 for an Apple or Nvidia device just for one freaking app. This is makes me madder and madder the more I think about it. I really don't see the point in any of this. Both sides are doing nothing but losing money and ticking everybody off, making Roku look greedy and HBOMax like a poorly conceived flop."
- I have an Xfinity Flex box too. Even though HBO Max is supposed to be on it, it is not. Don't dump your Roku for Flex. I love Roku, but I also buy my streams direct when those companies have sales. I don't plan to purchase any streams through Roku. Even so, I'm currently paying $12/ month for HBO Max and can only watch it streamed through my computer onto my Roku TV. Picture is fine, but sound quality seems better when streamed directly through the Roku TV apps.
Roku & HBO both need to work out a deal ASAP or both will lose customers. I like the Roku Channel. I think HBO needs to let Roku users search for their shows & movies through Roku, not just through the HBO app, because I like being able to Search for a show or movie, then pick which service lets me watch it for less & without commercials.
"If you’re AT&T, you want to own the viewer experience completely and so you want everyone watching on the standalone Max app which you’ve spent countless millions designing to ensure maximum customer satisfaction and maximum stickiness.
Beyond that, you also want all the viewership data you get from the Max app, data you don’t get if the viewer is watching Max shows via Amazon Prime or the Roku Channel."
So ROKU can refuse to put HBO MAX and probably PEACOCK in July off their platform and just laugh.
Peacock should be an interesting test case. It is a new service that was never in Roku's channels program. If Roku refuses to allow Peacock on their service as a standalone app only, then I would call that 'gatekeeping' and unfair.
HBO NOW was already in Roku's channel program and Roku wants that to continue. AT&T does not. And we have a stand-off. I would also guess that Roku might agree to a standalone app only, but they expect fair compensation for the subscribers of HBO NOW through their channel that they will lose.
ViacomCBS re-branded service will be another interesting one. CBS ALL ACCESS is currently available in the Roku and Amazon video channel programs. Will ViacomCBS bring out a new app and only want it available as a standalone app? Will we be right back here with a major new service unavailable on Roku and Amazon platforms?
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