HBO has made a name for itself in entertainment — well, a few names for itself, actually, which have been a source of confusion in recent weeks. There are several different HBO apps out there, each with a slightly different title, and now the streaming giant is working to streamline its offerings a bit. However, even HBO's efforts to simplify still require a good bit of clarification. So, here's what's happening to HBO Go and HBO Now to help you understand how the changes will affect you.
There are four different HBO offerings to know: HBO, HBO Go, HBO Now, and HBO Max. Let's first talk about what each of these meant before the new changes were implemented.
First, there's HBO, the TV network owned by WarnerMedia that you pay to get access to. Then in 2010, HBO Go was launched, allowing those who have a cable or satellite TV package that included HBO to watch original content from the network.
HBO Now was a standalone subscription launched in 2015 that let viewers access HBO content if they didn't have an HBO channel subscription from a cable or satellite provider. Users could subscribe through the HBO Now app on their devices, or as an add-on option from other services like Hulu, for $14.99 per month.
Newest to the lineup is HBO Max, which is essentially an expanded version of HBO Now. This offering lets users access the entire HBO library, plus additional content including the entire Friends catalogue and upcoming Max Originals (such as the Gossip Girl reboot). The service comes included in many cable providers and AT&T plans, and if you're not on one of those plans, you can subscribe to it for $14.99 per month.
Now, with the recent arrival of HBO Max, some of HBO's offerings are getting phased out and rebranded.
This change has already begun to take place: On most devices — like Apple TV, Androids, Apple iOS products, and more — the HBO Now app was automatically updated to HBO Max after the new service launched. However, WarnerMedia hasn't yet secured deals to bring HBO Max to Roku or Amazon Fire TV, so on those devices, HBO Now is being rebranded simply to HBO.
But that's not where the changes end. On July 31, HBO Go app will removed from all U.S. platforms, and it will only be available on the HBO Go website through Aug. 31. Luckily, most customers who have been using HBO Go will be able to access HBO Max using the same login, as long as they are using devices that support HBO Max.
In summary, there will be only two options for watching HBO content going forward: HBO Max and HBO. Both offerings are available to subscribe to, depending on which platform your device supports. Word to the wise, though: HBO Max offers more content than the HBO app for the same price ($14.99 per month), so if you have a device that supports HBO Max, that would be your better bet.