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We are now in an era where streaming services launch so frequently that it can be hard to keep track of them all, much less figure out which ones are worth your time and hard-earned dinero without at least giving them a shot long enough for a free trial to run out. If you have access to a platform that allows you to access these streamers in one place, the easiest solution is to just load them up with the appropriate apps and get your binge on. Unfortunately, when HBO Max went live toward the end of May, hopeful subscribers were not able to watch it on any Roku devices, and we now know why.
Tony Goncalves, the CEO of AT&T’s Otter Media division, which is the group that’s in charge of HBO Max, recently spoke to The Verge about the company's current impasse with Roku (as well as the one they have with Amazon right now), and it sounds like the reasoning behind it is a pretty simple one:
While Tony Goncalves wouldn't go into details on what kind of deal they were hoping to make with Roku or how long he believes it would take to get such a deal approved, it sounds a lot like the people at HBO Max felt like those at Roku weren't willing to partner in a way that took what they see as the value of the new streamer into account.
As he mentioned in his interview, HBO is already a very well known, loved, and respected property, and they already have many millions of subscribers. Goncalves, again, wouldn't get into specific numbers, but I'm sure several million of those current HBO subscribers upgraded to HBO Max, especially because, for most of those with HBO Now, their app updated automatically and they can access the new content without even paying anything extra.
It would seem that, right now, the offer on the table from Roku for HBO Max wasn't looking at the instant value that having that kind of potential subscriber base already intact would bring. To Goncalves, HBO is a brand people already trust, and HBO Max is simply an improvement on that brand which adds value, so any deal should reflect that. As he said, "We just want to be treated fairly."
While the situation between HBO Max and Roku seems to be at least a smidge contentious right now, Tony Goncalves has hope that this will change in the near future:
Bachelor Nation, Gilmore Girl; will Vulcan nerve pinch pretty much anyone if prompted with cheese...Yes, even Jamie Fraser.
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