WarnerMedia retiring HBO Go, rebranding HBO Now to just HBO

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 2020
In an attempt to consolidate services and alleviate confusion, WarnerMedia announces plans to retire HBO Go and rebrand HBO Now as simply "HBO."

WarnerMedia to sunset HBO Go, rebranding HBO NOW to HBO


If you'd thought you finally understood the difference between HBO NOW, HBO Go, and HBO Max, things are about to get a little confusing -- if only for a little bit.

HBO Go launched nearly a decade ago and was designed to allow HBO subscribers access to their favorite content. HBO Now was launched in 2015, a standalone app intended for cord-cutters who didn't have existing cable or satellite service.

HBO Max launched in May of 2020, and curates over ten thousand hours of content for all ages, drawing from an extensive, 100-year old library owned by WarnerMedia.

WarnerMedia has decided to sunset HBO Go and rebrand HBO Now as HBO, alleviating some of the confusion behind the different names.

"Now that HBO Max has launched and is widely distributed, we can implement some significant changes to our app offering in the U.S. As part of that plan, we will be sunsetting our HBO Go service in the U.S. We intend to remove the HBO Go app from primary platforms as of July 31, 2020," WarnerMedia, HBO's parent company, said in a statement according to The Wrap.

"Additionally, the HBO Now app and desktop experience will be rebranded to HBO. Existing HBO NOW subscribers will have access to HBO through the rebranded HBO app on platforms where it remains available and through play.hbo.com," the statement continues. "HBO Max provides not only the robust offering of HBO but also a vast WarnerMedia library and acquired content and originals through a modern product."

Those who subscribe to HBO through their cable providers will get access to the rebranded HBO desktop and app service, the same way they accessed their content via HBO Go. Those who used HBO Now -- the cord-cutters who don't subscribe to HBO through a cable provider -- will need to switch over to HBO Max.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    tyler82tyler82 Posts: 969member
    Why don't they just call it the Book Burning Network?
    lkrupp
  • Reply 2 of 11
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Now go....
  • Reply 3 of 11
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,691member
    What? This makes zero sense. The HBO NOW app literally just turned into HBO Max overnight. I didn't have to do anything. There is no action needed and I don't know what they're referring to with this "HBO Now will now be rebranded as HBO moving forward" nonsense — that didn't happen. What's going on here?
  • Reply 4 of 11
    I really thought they’d already explored every way to make it more confusing, but apparently I was wrong. If Go users Will be using “HBO,” you’d think they’d just rebrand Go as HBO instead of switching Go users to Now and calling that HBO. Hopefully the Now platform has some advantages.
    edited June 2020 sdw2001yoyo2222StrangeDays
  • Reply 5 of 11
    What? This makes zero sense. The HBO NOW app literally just turned into HBO Max overnight. I didn't have to do anything. There is no action needed and I don't know what they're referring to with this "HBO Now will now be rebranded as HBO moving forward" nonsense — that didn't happen. What's going on here?
    It remains a massive clusterf.

    If you had HBO Now on your Apple TV or other Apple device, it seamlessly turned into HBO Max on the launch of the latter. But other subscribers (Like those with Roku) didn’t get the app immediately due to financial disagreements between the streaming company and HBO. Those issues may resolve themselves, but in the meantime those customers may have to start an account with HBO Max and then terminate their account with Now.
    fastasleep
  • Reply 6 of 11
    I believe that 30 years from now, business schools will teach the history of the launch of HBO Max as a cautionary tale of how not to introduce a new product into a market which already features more than one of your current products, much as the saga of “New Coke” is taught today.

    AT&T appears to be singularly inept in its launches of other products and services lately (i.e., DirecTV Now, which shed some of its channels AND became more expensive at the same time, then became AT&T Now—whether the mediocre video quality and negligible reliability of DirecTV Now was fixed in the renaming to AT&T Now, I can’t say).

    Subscribers who paid HBO $15/mo for Now, get MAX instead, which has much more content in addition to the same relationship to current HBO shows as Now had. But if you subscribe for HBO itself through a cable provider for that same $15/mo, you get the rebranded old Go as before for free, but no access to the Max breadth of content—that will cost *another* $15/mo, thank you.

    The only advantage to having HBO subscriptions through cable providers is the “live” schedule—John Oliver appears 11pm ET on HBO, but not for hours later on Max/Now. Otherwise, AT&T has built a case to have their 3rd party subscribers drop their HBO account through Charter/Comcast/Cox/etc, and take a sub with Max instead. While that figures to enrich AT&T since no fee would be paid to the cable company for their royalty on the subscription, it also figures to erode the decades-long relationships HBO has had with these signal providers.

    The whole time, AT&T did an absolutely abysmal job of explaining features/benefits to both current and prospective customers. They danced around the “how much will it cost?” question for months, and then failed to be clear on “do I get this if I subscribe to HBO already?” question. They believe they will have a massive subscriber base by the time 2024 rolls around, but they will need much more compelling original programming that than which was part of the launch.
    Dogpersonfastasleep
  • Reply 7 of 11
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,676member
    I have Verizon FiOS and I was just able to sign in without creating a new account. So apparently it is included with my FiOS/HBO subscription.
  • Reply 8 of 11
    HBO GO. GOING.  GONE!  :p
  • Reply 9 of 11
    bsnjonbsnjon Posts: 33member
    If only Apple would learn from this and fix its own services branding, which continue to be confusing and not particularly useful. 
  • Reply 10 of 11
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,590member
    I have yet to find anything appealing in HBO Max. If old reruns or classic movies are your thing, great, otherwise...
    edited June 2020
  • Reply 11 of 11
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,691member
    What? This makes zero sense. The HBO NOW app literally just turned into HBO Max overnight. I didn't have to do anything. There is no action needed and I don't know what they're referring to with this "HBO Now will now be rebranded as HBO moving forward" nonsense — that didn't happen. What's going on here?
    It remains a massive clusterf.

    If you had HBO Now on your Apple TV or other Apple device, it seamlessly turned into HBO Max on the launch of the latter. But other subscribers (Like those with Roku) didn’t get the app immediately due to financial disagreements between the streaming company and HBO. Those issues may resolve themselves, but in the meantime those customers may have to start an account with HBO Max and then terminate their account with Now.
    I'm increasingly impressed at how much of a fustercluck this has become — I got an email from HBO saying my HBO Max subscription expires June 22nd — for reasons unknown — even though I was a subscriber through iTunes of Now that rolled over to Max. I assume that's NOT the case, so good work guys!
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