WarnerMedia has clinched another big digital distribution deal for HBO Max: Under a pact with Google, the streaming service will be available across Google platforms and devices — including Android and Google Play — when it launches on May 27.
At launch, current HBO Now subscribers billed through Google Play will be automatically upgraded to HBO Max app at no additional charge. New HBO Max customers will be able to subscribe directly in the app for $14.99 per month (the same price as HBO Now).
The Google deal comes after WarnerMedia inked similar agreements for HBO Max with Apple, Charter Communications, and YouTube TV. HBO Max subscriptions also will be available directly, as well as from AT&T (WarnerMedia’s parent), which is bundling HBO Max free for high-end service tiers. Large distributors and OTT platforms not yet in HBO Max’s launch matrix at this point include Comcast, Dish (which has not carried HBO since November 2018), Roku, Amazon Prime Video Channels and Verizon.
Under the WarnerMedia deal with Google, U.S. customers will be able to stream HBO Max on Android phones and tablets, Android TV devices, Chromebooks, Goo, gle Chromecast and devices that have Chromecast built-in.
Like Apple, Google takes a 30% cut of apps purchases on Google Play. WarnerMedia is willing to take lower margin (versus direct-to-consumer billing) to maximize the reach of HBO Max, essentially a superset of HBO programming that the company hopes will lure in new paying customers.
“The availability of HBO Max across Android, Android TV, Chromebook and Google Chromecast devices and on Google Play adds to our growing list of distribution options that will be offered to customers at launch,” Rich Warren, president of WarnerMedia Distribution, said in a statement.
HBO Max is slated to debut with 10,000 hours of content, including full seasons of “Friends,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “Doctor Who,” “Rick and Morty,” “The Bachelor,” “Sesame Street,” “Pretty Little Liars,” and more, along with Warner Bros. movies like “Joker,” “Wonder Woman” and “The Matrix,” content from other WarnerMedia brands like TNT, TBS and Adult Swim, and a slate of original shows.