18 Dec 2020: HBO Max finally launching on Roku: Details here
Warner Bros. and digital streaming hardware brand Roku have come to a common point of agreement, finally allowing the studio's streaming platform HBO Max to be activated on Roku devices and screens.
The pact will now allow Roku to sell HBO Max subscriptions to its users through its own payment gateway named Roku Pay.
This comes seven months after HBO Max was launched.
Context: A bit about Roku, which was launched in 2008
Founded in 2008, when Netflix was the sole player, Roku is an assortment of hardware that enables wireless digital streaming of TV and OTT platforms.
Its models comprise streaming sticks of different types, boxes, voice-search-enabled remotes, headphones, TV - all connected through a cross-platform operating system.
It also has an app and allows 3,000+ channels.
One can also watch local broadcast networks through Roku.
Details: For watching HBO Max, users have to give HBO credentials
If this deal didn't click, HBO Max would have lost Roku's huge 46mn active user-base, which it had amassed by September.
Users watching HBO through Roku will now get to see the app updated as HBO Max for which they can give their HBO credentials.
So from now, Roku won't be able to sell HBO as a channel subscription apparently, but HBO Max subscriptions.
Details: Warner Bros., Roku were fighting over this deal since long
Interestingly, even before HBO Max was launched, Warner Bros. and Roku were feuding over this deal.
The latter wanted to be able to sell HBO through Roku Channel Store, while the studio was insistent on having HBO Max as a separate application.
The hardware company also wanted rights of HBO Max content selection for free, ad-supported Roku channel, which haven't been agreed upon.
Reaction: After-effects: Roku's shares spike, executive says 'thrilled' with partnership
Other details of the deal aren't available but right after this development was announced, Roku's shares spiked to over 3% in after-hours trading.
Scott Rosenberg, SVP (Roku's platform business), said that they are "thrilled" with the partnership.
"Reaching mutually beneficial agreements where Roku grows together with our partners is how we deliver an exceptional user experience at an incredible value for consumers," he added.