HBO Max is back on Amazon Prime Video Channels.
Under a new agreement between Warner Bros. Discovery and Amazon Expand at least through the end of 2024 Customers who subscribe to HBO Max through Prime Video Channels in the US will automatically be upgraded to the unified HBO Max/Discovery+ service coming next spring.
HBO Max’s return to Prime Video Channels comes after the premium streamer, under WarnerMedia, dropped Prime Video channels in September 2021, after the media company and Amazon failed to reach an agreement to extend the distribution agreement. The sticking point: WarnerMedia, then owned by AT&T, wanted more control over direct-to-consumer relationships — including the ability to collect data for targeted ads — than Amazon was willing to give up. About 5 million HBO/HBO Max customers subscribed through Prime Video Channels, and the end of that deal took a cut from HBO Max’s subscriber base.
Now, as of Tuesday (December 6), HBO Max is back on Prime Video Channels in the US under a multi-year deal between Amazon and Warner Bros. Discovery (formed by Discovery’s acquisition of WarnerMedia this year).
Business terms of the deal were not disclosed. In a statement about the new Prime Video Channels deal, Bruce Campbell, chief revenue officer and strategy officer for Warner Bros. Discovery, noted that “Warner Bros. Discovery is committed to making HBO Max available to as wide an audience as possible while also evolving our data-driven approach to understand our customers and best serve their viewing interests.” Today, we’re excited to take an important step forward by announcing the return of HBO Max. to Prime Video Channels”.
Prime members can subscribe to HBO Max for $14.99 per month, the same price through other platforms, through the Prime Video app or by visiting amazon.com/channels/hbomax. In addition, subscribers will have access to the combined HBO Max/Discovery+ streaming service from Warner Bros. Discovery upon its launch, which is targeted for spring 2023. WBD didn’t say if existing HBO Max customers on other platforms will also migrate to the combined service, which will likely end up as “Max.” The company also hasn’t released pricing details, including whether customers who subscribe to HBO Max through Prime Video Channels will see their monthly fees increase with the HBO Max/Discovery+ merger.
“We strive to offer customers the best and widest selection of premium content available for their everyday viewing experience,” said Cem Sibay, Vice President of Prime Video, in a statement. “Now with the addition of HBO Max again, customers can easily add that subscription and enjoy even more award-winning entertainment and fan favorites on Prime Video.”
HBO Max provides nearly 15,000 hours of content, compiling original programming from HBO and Warner Bros. and DC, as well as original movies, HBO Max movies, and licensed third-party content. In the shadow of Warner Bros. Discovery, the service has trimmed some content spending.
Warner Bros. does not explain. Discovery subsidiary numbers for HBO/HBO Max in its quarterly reports. In the third quarter, its direct-to-consumer subscribers increased by 2.8 million subscribers worldwide across HBO, HBO Max, Discovery+ and smaller DTC streaming services, to 94.9 million. The direct consumer unit’s EBITDA loss doubled year-over-year, from $309 million in the third quarter of 2021 (on a pro-forma basis) to $634 million in the fourth quarter. DTC segment revenue decreased 7% (on a pro forma basis) to $2.32 billion.