It's time to pour one out for HBO Go. WarnerMedia has announced that they are shutting down the long-running streaming service. This comes just a couple of weeks after the company launched HBO Max, which is intended to be its major long-term play into the streaming game, aimed at competing with the likes of Netflix and Disney+, amongst others. That means changes are coming for current HBO subscribers who want to stream content.
HBO Go launched a decade ago and was a way for those who subscribe to the channel through traditional means, such as through a cable or satellite provider, to stream content online. But subscribers were upgraded to HBO Max when the service rolled out, which led to some redundancy, as well as a little confusion among consumers, as HBO Now was also available. WarnerMedia had this to say in a statement.
"Now that HBO Max has launched and is widely distributed, we can implement some significant changes to our app offering in the U.S. As part of that plan, we will be sunsetting our HBO GO service in the U.S. We intend to remove the HBO GO app from primary platforms as of July 31, 2020."
HBO Now had previously existed as the only version of the company's standalone streaming service. WarnerMedia also revealed that they will be rebranding HBO Now as simply HBO. It seems these changes are being implemented to alleviate possible confusion, as well as shift the focus to HBO Max. By shifting all current subscribers over, it could help bolster the numbers and shed more light on the new service. Speaking further, WarnerMedia said the following.
"Most customers who have traditionally used HBO GO to stream HBO programming are now able to do so via HBO Max, which offers access to all of HBO together with so much more. Additionally, the HBO NOW app and desktop experience will be rebranded to HBO. Existing HBO NOW subscribers will have access to HBO through the rebranded HBO app on platforms where it remains available and through play.hbo.com. HBO Max provides not only the robust offering of HBO but also a vast WarnerMedia library and acquired content and originals through a modern product."
The streaming wars have begun to heat up over the last year or so as Netflix has continued to dominate the industry. WarnerMedia is looking to compete more directly in the marketplace, which is becoming increasingly crowded. Disney+, Apple TV+, Amazon Prime Video and CBS All Access are all competing for subscribers, with NBC's Peacock coming down the pipeline as well.
HBO Max contains twice as much content as regular HBO. Aside from a wide selection of movies, it is now the exclusive streaming home of hit shows such as Friends and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The service goes for $14.99 per month. This news was previously reported by The Wrap.