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fluke
Level 13

Re: HBO Max can be accessed on your ROKU on Hulu

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@MoviesProbably wrote:

@fluke wrote: What exactly has Roku demanded that Apple and Google has not already also demanded?

According to Variety Magazine, this is the central issue:

This article does not seem to hold up journalistic integrity for news reporting. That is not to say this fails to be informative, it definitely is informative. But of all of this article seems to be based on claims from a single unnamed source. That would largely make this an opinion piece largely created by statements from an anonymous author.


@MoviesProbably wrote:

A central sticking point: WarnerMedia wants to remove HBO from Amazon’s Prime Video Channels and the Roku Channel. That’s so the media conglomerate can keep customers within the HBO Max app experience, giving it the ability to gather data for recommendations and (down the road) ad targeting.

This should be troubling for anyone that cares about their privacy. Nether HBO Go/Now did custom data recommendations. I don't recall the privacy policy for HBO Go ever talking about storing per account non-aggregate data. It also appears that even if you continue to pay for the ad-free version of HBO Max, they still continue to collect that data to target ads displayed outside of HBO Max. They seem to be trying to become the Facebook of streaming services. But the "deal" with Facebook is you get the platform for "free" in return for your privacy. HBO Max is looking to take away privacy and collect $180 per year while doing so!

Here is a very telling part of the HBO Max privacy policy that I never saw as part of HBO Go/Now:


HBO Max privacy policy:
 Please note that any opt-out choice you exercise through these programs will apply to interest-based advertising by the third parties you select, but will still allow the collection of data for other purposes, including research, analytics, and internal operations.

That is really Orwellian!  You can opt-out of seeing the targeted ads but that won't stop HBO Max from spying on you at a personal level.

Reading between the lines, it sounds like Roku is fighting for our privacy and their policy that data is shared in aggregated or de-identified format.


@MoviesProbably wrote:

Apple, which offers the HBO Max app, agreed to stop selling HBO through Apple TV Channels. But Amazon and Roku are resisting.

It sounds to me like HBO demanded to be able to violate the privacy policy of Apple TV Channels so Apple removed them. It would have been nice, given how much Apple claims to respect the privacy of their customers, if Apple publicly announced the real reason HBO had to be removed from Apple TV Channels.


@MoviesProbably wrote:

“They want to aggregate all this content into a central experience,” says an industry exec familiar with the talks. “But Netflix is never going to do that. Hulu is never going to do that. HBO did that early on, and now Amazon and Roku have a real problem because if HBO is not in their channels that model falls apart.”

I agree that Netflix will never move to an aggregate model--Netflix is the dominate streaming service and doesn't need an aggregate model to build it's business.

However, claiming Hulu never will is a self-serving statement in which the industry exec has nothing to lose if he is wrong because he is anonymous. Hulu is already bundling with Disney+ in attempt to continue to show growth. It seems unrealistic to claim Hulu will never ever be turning to an aggregate model for any of it's content.

More importantly, this specific paragraph also is very telling of why the source used for the majority of this opinion piece selected not to give his name. He seems to be admitting that AT&T/TW/HBO is willfully violating the testimony given before congress.

Keep in mind the following:


AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson before the Senate antitrust subcommitte:
Nor is there any reason to believe we could use Time Warner programming or AT&T networks to hurt related markets. Simply put, it would be irrational business behavior to do so. Time Warner's programming is more valuable when distributed to as many eyes as possible. Moreover, in order to have great programming, it is imperative that we attract great creative talent to develop it. The best way to attract that talent is through widespread distribution of Time Warner content.

So, TW/HBO had been following the aggregate business model and Randall Stephenson said they would continue to do so and now suddenly HBO is admitting in an opinion piece that they just don't want to do what CEO of the parent company said would be done.

Oh, and then there is also AT&T's court filing to get DOJ approval for the merger with TW.


AT&T court filing:
Turner's entire business depends on licensing and advertising revenues, and those revenues in turn depend on broad and uninterrupted distribution of its programs. Whatever revenues AT&T would earn from the tiny percentage of subscribers AT&T [TV services] might gain if Turner went dark on a rival distributor would be vastly outstripped by the licensing and advertising revenues Turner would lose. Turner, accordingly, would no sooner walk away from this "kabuki dance" after the merger than before—and everyone knows it.

To be clear, I understand why your frustrated with this whole situation. I sympathize with your frustration.  And I feel frustrated myself on a personal level over all of this.

But why such toxic hate of Roku over this?  Randall Stephenson stated aggregation would continue and Roku is attempting to take him up on his offer.  You want to claim no one should be entitled to getting that offer.  If that is your position, why attack Roku instead of attacking Randall Stephenson for saying Roku should be able to expect what they are asking for?  If his testimony wasn't supposed to be the position of the company, why does he still remain the CEO and not removed by the board?


@MoviesProbably wrote:

Indeed, the channel-aggregation biz has become lucrative for Roku and Amazon. According to Amazon, almost 5 million HBO subscribers access the service through Prime Video Channels. Overall, nearly one-third of U.S. consumers who subscribed to a streaming service in the past 12 months used aggregation services on Amazon, Roku and Apple, according to a Parks Associates study conducted in Q1.

For an article recommended to me as something that would show how much Roku is at fault, this is really failing to give any data about Roku specifically.

You know how much Roku profited from the almost 5 million HBO subscribers through Prime Video Channels? ZERO.

How much of the 1/3rd US consumers subscribed through Roku Channels? We aren't told that, we are just given the combined value of three different companies.

Overall, there is over 300 million subscribed to Netflix, Amazon Prime and HBO Max in 2020 according to statista. It would be more honest of me to say that HBO Max has 17 million subscribers in 2020 but combining the numbers with much larger services helps to imply HBO Max is already much larger than it actually is.   Likewise, it is extremely dishonest to combine Roku's number with the much larger aggregation services of Amazon and Apple.


@MoviesProbably wrote:

In a statement, WarnerMedia said, “We look forward to reaching agreements with the few outstanding distribution partners left [for HBO Max], including with Amazon and on par with how they provide customers access to Netflix, Disney Plus and Hulu on Fire devices.”

Has Netflix CEO Reed Hastings ever appeared in a senate antitrust committee and said his company would license it's content? Has Netflix ever filed such a claim before the DOJ with the courts?

How about Bob Chapek, the CEO of Disney?  Find any senate committee testimony similar to what was said by Randall Stephenson?

How about Randy Freer during his time as CEO of Hulu?

If the AT&T/TW/HBO business model needs to be "on par" with Netflix and Hulu, then there was a time and place for them to say that.  Roku is merely taking them up on what the CEO said was being offered and what the company said in filings to the DOJ.


@MoviesProbably wrote:

Meanwhile, Peacock chief Matt Strauss tells Variety, “We are certainly engaged in discussions with every platform,” and says NBCU is open to various forms of “value exchange” in such deals.

For the streaming services, the problem isn’t revenue sharing per se. (Roku takes a standard 20% cut of subscription fees, while Amazon’s take is believed to range from 15%-45%.) Apple and Google slice off a comparable piece of the subscription dollars that flow through their platforms.

The issues are the extras Roku and Amazon want thrown in, including ad inventory (Roku’s standard ask is 30%), rights to resell services in their channel stores and “free content” for the ad-supported Roku Channel and IMDb TV. Roku also asks for a marketing-spend commitment from partners, which among other things grants their channels preferred placement on the menu. (Roku and Amazon declined to comment on specific negotiating points.)

Well, this leads me back to my original question this article was supposed to answer.

Even if HBO Max is removed form Apple TV Channels for resale, HBO needed to still agree to the terms of Apple Appstore for the HBO Max app to appear on the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV.  Clearly HBO Max must have agreed to Apple getting it's "comparable piece."

Google clearly has retained rights to resell HBO Max through YouTube TV.  And for HBO Max to appear in the Google Play store, they again needed to agreed to Google getting it's "comparable piece."

So, this article shows Roku is demanding something that Apple is not, the ability to aggregate the content.  Yet that is something that was stated as being offered by them when talking to congress and filing with the department of justice.  It is also something they continue to agree to with Google.

It still seems to me that it isn't Roku's requests that are unfair in comparison to agreements HBO Max reached with Google.  Rather HBO Max expects to treat Roku as deserving much less than Google.


@MoviesProbably wrote:

Roku and Amazon are arguably a duopoly, says a media exec: “It’s the classic ‘Get everybody on the platform’ and then change the game.”

Oh! So much irony in this statement!

You know who else profited from a duopoly model?  NBC was founded in 1926 and CBS was founded in 1927.  It wouldn't be until 1943 that ABC would be founded.  That doesn't make NBC or CBS evil, duopolies sometimes exist and history has shown over time the market shifts.

Looking at AT&T is even more interesting that held mostly a monopoly position from 1885 until it's break up in 1982.

To address the dangers of a duopoly the government has an antitrust committee and DOJ probes.  But AT&T undermined that process by lying.  Roku isn't the one that is attempting to "change the game" here.  AT&T got to determine the rules of the game when they testified before congress and filed with the DOJ.  It is clearly AT&T/TW/HBO that now wants to "change the game" away from what the promised to provide now that Roku is taking them up on their own offer.

Again, to be clear, I do not expect any of this to make you less frustrated over the situation.  I am also extremely frustrated in not getting HBO Max after being banned from HBO Go on Roku.  But it would be nice if you could tone down the one-sided slated perspective of claims Roku is fully at fault.  From where I am sitting, it looks like if AT&T/TW/HBO did what they told the United States Federal Government they would do then we should all have access to HBO Max on Roku right now.

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DrewNJ
Level 9

Re: HBO can still be accessed on your ROKU

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@cushlomockree wrote:

@DrewNJ wrote:

Access Hbo Max from another device like tablet or computer.  Authenticate with your provider.  Add your email address and set a password for HBO Max.  You can now use your email address and that new password to access Hbo Now (which has been rebranded simply as Hbo) on Roku.


Must be an idiot..

I have HBO Max installed on Android via authentication thru Spectrum.

There is nothing in Max settings where I see how to add/change username/password.

I can Sign Out, but this just creates a new code which I have to enter on a computer/tablet and authenticate via Spectrum credentials.

Am I missing something?


Yes, goto your profile on HBO Max, click the settings button, goto account settings.  Here you will see your email address and be able to set a password.  By default when you create the account there is no password set.  Hope this helps.  I tested on my android phone for you.

Fresh_phish
Level 7

Re: HBO Max work around

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I use an HDMI adapter to my iPhone and plug in via HDMI cable to my tv. 

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crboehm
Level 7

Re: HBO Max work around

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We have Samsung Galaxy phones, and just use the HBO Max app on there, with the "Smart View" option to cast the app to our Roku TV.

cushlomockree
Level 8

Re: HBO can still be accessed on your ROKU

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@DrewNJ wrote:

@cushlomockree wrote:

@DrewNJ wrote:

Access Hbo Max from another device like tablet or computer.  Authenticate with your provider.  Add your email address and set a password for HBO Max.  You can now use your email address and that new password to access Hbo Now (which has been rebranded simply as Hbo) on Roku.


Must be an idiot..

I have HBO Max installed on Android via authentication thru Spectrum.

There is nothing in Max settings where I see how to add/change username/password.

I can Sign Out, but this just creates a new code which I have to enter on a computer/tablet and authenticate via Spectrum credentials.

Am I missing something?


Yes, goto your profile on HBO Max, click the settings button, goto account settings.  Here you will see your email address and be able to set a password.  By default when you create the account there is no password set.  Hope this helps.  I tested on my android phone for you.


Thanks! Worked on my tablet. Now "HBO" works on Roku same as with HBO Go.

Was this addition of a password documented anywhere?

 

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oneduality
Level 9

Re: HBO can still be accessed on your ROKU

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@cushlomockree wrote:

@DrewNJ wrote:

@cushlomockree wrote:

@DrewNJ wrote:

Access Hbo Max from another device like tablet or computer.  Authenticate with your provider.  Add your email address and set a password for HBO Max.  You can now use your email address and that new password to access Hbo Now (which has been rebranded simply as Hbo) on Roku.


Must be an idiot..

I have HBO Max installed on Android via authentication thru Spectrum.

There is nothing in Max settings where I see how to add/change username/password.

I can Sign Out, but this just creates a new code which I have to enter on a computer/tablet and authenticate via Spectrum credentials.

Am I missing something?


Yes, goto your profile on HBO Max, click the settings button, goto account settings.  Here you will see your email address and be able to set a password.  By default when you create the account there is no password set.  Hope this helps.  I tested on my android phone for you.


Thanks! Worked on my tablet. Now "HBO" works on Roku same as with HBO Go.

Was this addition of a password documented anywhere?

 


I don't know that it was documented.. I myself discovered this on my own and then posted it a good while back.. if it is documented, I didn't know.. it's just something I noticed right before I gave up.

I'm not claiming others didn't find it before me Smiley Happy because I'm not sure if they did or didn't.. but I did find it on my own and I posted it here a while back and on another thread.. but people have continued to ask about it.

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j_m_
Level 11

Re: HBO Max can be accessed on your ROKU on Hulu

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@shadowplay0918 wrote:

I'll say this again, Roku is currently losing money (and not due to the Roku Channel) and if you take away their ability to make any money off of selling services they will cease to exist at some point.  There is no profit is selling devices for $40 while maintaining their software so other large corporations can make money.

Other streaming boxes are either much more expensive (Apple & Nvidia) or owned by very large companies (Apple & Google) that can take a loss indefinitely due to longer term goals. 

Either you need to wait this out or look for another device.


Give me a break. This is not expensive, high-powered hardware. But for Roku’s recent foray into being a content provider through the Roku Channel, the only software they have to maintain is a UI that has not changed much in the 10 or so years I have had Rokus (since the 2 XS), backend OS/firmware, and a storefront with some server backend infrastructure. Roku OS is not Windows. They don’t code the apps for Netflix etc. In addition to the price we pay for each device, Roku has revenue from the abundant ads they now push everywhere in the UI and from a cut of paid apps in their store etc. If Roku can’t make a profit, then it is because they are trying to do more than just (as used to be the focus) making a great device that is a neutral platform for apps. And FYI I already have multiple other devices including FireTV Stick 4k and Tivo Stream 4k, both of which have HBO Max and Peacock (albeit via sideloading on the FireTV). Even if Roku eventually allows those apps, I will not be buying another. The 4 Stick+ I have will be the last. I think you are right that Roku will cease to exist. As Android TV matures, Android based devices will likely take over. I am sure most app developers would prefer using real, standard programming languages (that can be used for apps on other devices) instead of a proprietary, outdated scripting language (BrightScript) Roku developed for use in digital signs. In fact, it would not surprise me if Roku eventually moves to using Android as its OS with a custom UI similar to what FireTV and Tivo Stream do.

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truncheon
Level 7

Re: HBO Max work around

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What's worked for me as of 8/3/2020 (caveat: this is for HBONow not the newer HBOMax)

I have an existing subscription to HBO through cable (Xfinity). I used this to login to the

HBOMax site and created an HBOMax account. Now via Roku, the HBONow channel can

be used with this HBOMax account. Seems to work fine but I'm watching older shows.

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shadowplay0918
Level 9

Re: HBO Max can be accessed on your ROKU on Hulu

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@j_m_ wrote:

@shadowplay0918 wrote:

I'll say this again, Roku is currently losing money (and not due to the Roku Channel) and if you take away their ability to make any money off of selling services they will cease to exist at some point.  There is no profit is selling devices for $40 while maintaining their software so other large corporations can make money.

Other streaming boxes are either much more expensive (Apple & Nvidia) or owned by very large companies (Apple & Google) that can take a loss indefinitely due to longer term goals. 

Either you need to wait this out or look for another device.


Give me a break. This is not expensive, high-powered hardware. But for Roku’s recent foray into being a content provider through the Roku Channel, the only software they have to maintain is a UI that has not changed much in the 10 or so years I have had Rokus (since the 2 XS), backend OS/firmware, and a storefront with some server backend infrastructure. Roku OS is not Windows. They don’t code the apps for Netflix etc. In addition to the price we pay for each device, Roku has revenue from the abundant ads they now push everywhere in the UI and from a cut of paid apps in their store etc. If Roku can’t make a profit, then it is because they are trying to do more than just (as used to be the focus) making a great device that is a neutral platform for apps. And FYI I already have multiple other devices including FireTV Stick 4k and Tivo Stream 4k, both of which have HBO Max and Peacock (albeit via sideloading on the FireTV). Even if Roku eventually allows those apps, I will not be buying another. The 4 Stick+ I have will be the last. I think you are right that Roku will cease to exist. As Android TV matures, Android based devices will likely take over. I am sure most app developers would prefer using real, standard programming languages (that can be used for apps on other devices) instead of a proprietary, outdated scripting language (BrightScript) Roku developed for use in digital signs. In fact, it would not surprise me if Roku eventually moves to using Android as its OS with a custom UI similar to what FireTV and Tivo Stream do.


If it's as easy as you say it is to make a cheap box and turn a profit who is no one else doing it?  How's that Boxee Box doing these days?  With regards to TiVo I have probably owned 9-10 of their dvr's in my lifetime but I doubt many would disagree that they are clueless these days as a company.  I wouldn't bet anything on their long term success.

That leaves Amazon and Google, both companies can afford to lose money on their devices but I don't want to be tied to either for my streaming (especially once the competition is gone).  Google was the best browser when there was competition, now I get non-stop ads and promoted results (not to mention no no privacy).  Amazon is no better.

You don't like Roku?  Simple solution is to not use their product and move on.

     

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j_m_
Level 11

Re: HBO Max can be accessed on your ROKU on Hulu

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@fluke wrote:
Regardless of if you like or dislike Roku Channel as a method to purchase access to premium streaming services, the reality is that it does make Roku a reseller. For purchases outside of the Roku Channel, I agree that Roku does not deserve the subscriber information but I have not ever been pointed to proof that Roku is demanding it for subscribers outside of Roku Channel.

Yes,  but what you are missing is that I and many others simply fundamentally disagree with Roku’s apparent attempt to force AT&T to agree to allow Roku to resell HBO Max by blocking the update of the HBO Now app to HBO Max. These should not be tied together. We bought Roku because it was a neutral platform where we could install apps without gatekeeping. Roku has moved in a different direction. Their choice. But many of us will likewise move to a platform that is more open like Roku once was. Our choice. 

I do completely understand that Roku is not identical to Comcast.  For example, the AG for the state of Washington's court action seeking $100 million for violating the state Consumer Protection Act only applied to Comcast and never has been issued against Roku.  But for purposes of being a premium channel reseller, they are similar.

They are not. But they think they are and, with the help of folks like you, they are trying to convince folks of that. And it is working on a lot of the “Roku can do no wrong folks” in this thread (some of whom are likely employees).

By the way, how is Comcast's infrastructure such a great expense in comparison to telecoms in other countries that can deliver the same internet speed for between half to a fifth the price?  I think Comcast is already fairly reimbursed.

I am not going to defend Comcast (or USA providers in general) on Internet pricing, speed, availability, etc. compared to other comparable countries. Many of us ate with them because they are the inly good option—that is a whole other issue where I definitely blame Comcast. But that is not this. I doubt Roku has any infrastructure other than what exists in their offices and server room. So, no, not the same. Without Comcast and other ISPs’ infrastructure, Roku cannot exist.

Based on your logic, if I use an Xfinity login to get access to HBO but only ever access it from a separate cell phone service or a separate internet connection provided by an employer or friend then Comcast is not entitled to any data about me. That just isn't how reality works. The data that Comcasts gets related to HBO subscribers is independent of which network infrastructure is used to access the HBO content.

That is not my logic at all. Comcast gets my subscriber data because I pay them for cable HBO it can only sell because AT&T needs them to deliver HBO over Comcast cable infrastructure. AT&T does not deliver HBO Max over Roku infrastructure Roku does not host the stream or own the wiring infrastructure to my home). Roku makes a device on which an app provider such as AT&T should be (and used to be) able to make available the app that AT&T wrote that delivers HBO’s content from HBO servers somewhere through Comcast/Other ISP/Internet to their subscribers. If they want to do that directly as do other apps, not through the Roku Channel, then they should not be blocked by Roku, which is what I believe is happening. Imagine if you could not install software on a Windows PC without first getting Microsoft’s approval or the software author paying Microsoft. I guess many folks are okay with that. I’m not.

However, when recommending a non-supported side-loaded "solution" to others, it should come with the caveats clearly spelled out. No one should be paying $120 for an overpriced fire cube expecting it will deliver the best HBO Max experience. The side-loading work-around will play just the same on the $40 stick for now and may break in the future either way.  And neither will keep the keep the app up to date similar to how Roku automatically keeps apps up to date (or how Google Play does).

Not sure who recommended a Fire Cube. I don’t. You can regularly get the 4k Stick for $25-30. Maybe Amazon disables sideloading capability in the future, maybe not—very few Android devices do. If they do, another Android TV device will allow it. Unlike Roku, Android is open, uses standard programming languages, and as a result has a lot of developer support (professional and otherwise). And, unlike Roku, it works with HBO Max now and is based on an OS that will likely continue to get better as Android steadily has over the years while Roku clings to the same, dated UI, likely limited by the proprietary scripting language it created for digital signs.

I’m not wasting any more breath or time on you. You keep on blindly defending Roku though. I know you will.

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