HBO Max and Roku are two entities that continue to remain apart despite WarnerMedia's new streaming service's success. While users of Roku have been longing for HBO Max to be accessible on their televisions, it looks as though that wait may soon be ending. While nothing is coming in the intermediate, Jason Kilar, the company's CEO, told Variety that something would eventually get done.
Roku has resisted adding HBO Max to its services due to what it perceives as low-ball offers. Killar, though, said the two entities have "respect" for each other and are undergoing "productive conversations." Killar seems to be fairly confident the two sides can reach an agreement at some point. "I do have optimism that something gets done," Killar stated.
Roku users' demand to have access to HBO Max has only intensified after the streaming service announced its plans to skip the box office in 2021 and deliver its major movies straight to the platform. Earlier in December, it was revealed that Warner Bros. would be streaming the rights to its movie releases next year straight to HBO Max. That means 17 brand-new movies will be coming to the service. This includes films like Godzilla vs. Kong, Dune, Matrix 4 and the next installment of Suicide Squad. Typically, HBO Max users would have to wait three months after a movie's release before having access to it. The one caveat, however, is that the films will only be available for one month then it will disappear and cycle back.
Killar said the reason for making this move, one that has been highly criticized by some, is to give consumers "a steady stream of big-budget, well-told stories." Even if things were to change regarding the coronavirus pandemic, the company doesn't have any plans to change its plans for 2021. This only impacts the U.S. as WarnerMedia is planning to release its films in theaters across other countries that don't have access to its streaming service.
HBO Max launched in May, joining a streaming war that featured giants like Netflix, Hulu and Disney+. As of early December, the platform had more than 12.6 active subscribers. Among the biggest draws to HBO Max are the availability of Game of Thrones, Friends, The West Wing and access to the Looney Toons cartoons. The one gripe, however, has been from Roku users who have yet to have access to the service due to no agreement being reached between the two sides yet.