HBO Max launched in 2020 to deliver a new way to stream existing HBO content and originals produced specifically for the streamer, but Roku users who were interested in what HBO Max had to offer were out of luck. Now, nearly seven months after the streamer launched in late May and a little over a week before Wonder Woman 1984 debuts streaming, HBO Max is hitting Roku.
Starting on Thursday, December 17, Roku users will finally have the option to download HBO Max from the Roku channel store and gain access to everything that HBO, Warner Bros., DC, Adult Swim and more have to offer on the streaming service. This means that not only will Roku users be able to watch original content like Anna Kendrick's Love Life and Kaley Cuoco's acclaimed The Flight Attendant that premiered on HBO Max, but also Wonder Woman 1984 when it becomes available on Christmas Day.
Roku users who are already subscribed to HBO don't have to do anything when it comes to the change, as the HBO app is going to automatically update to the HBO Max app. Logging in will simply take their existing HBO credentials. The new HBO Max option opens up 10,000 hours of content from the WarnerMedia brands.
HBO Max is already home to some hit original series and the full runs of hit series like Friends, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and The Big Bang Theory along with HBO classics like The Sopranos and Game of Thrones. The addition to Roku in time for 2021 is good news for movie fans as well thanks to Warner Bros.' game-changing decision to debut big-name films on HBO Max concurrently to their theatrical releases.
While the Warner Bros. concurrent movie releases start with Wonder Woman 1984 on December 25, the new year will see the limited time HBO Max releases of The Matrix 4, Mortal Kombat, The Suicide Squad, and Space Jam: A New Legacy. Basically, even if Roku users were left waiting for more than half a year to gain access to HBO Max, the timing is pretty great.
Back in June, HBO Max boss Tony Goncalves commented on the streaming service's lack of availability on Roku, saying that becoming available on platforms used by consumers "is really, really important," but also said that they "just want to be treated fairly." A few months later in September, Roku's founder stated that the company is open to services like HBO Max "on very reasonable terms."
All signs pointed toward both parties wanting a deal to bring HBO Max to Roku; there was just no saying if and when such a deal could happen, and certainly no guarantee that Roku viewers would have access in time to stream Wonder Woman 1984 as soon as possible. The decision by Warner Bros. to premiere films streaming concurrent to their theatrical debuts has generated plenty of controversy, but this Roku deal is officially good news for consumers who are interested in what HBO Max has to offer.