WarnerMedia has firmed up a distribution deal with Apple for distribution of its forthcoming streaming service HBO Max.
The pact is the latest key agreement in the run up to the May 27 launch, following pacts with Charter and YouTube TV. Within AT&T, of course, the company can also take full advantage of platforms like DirecTV, U-verse cable and AT&T TV Now.
HBO Max is the last of a handful of major new challengers to Netflix, joining Disney+, Apple TV+, NBCUniversal’s Peacock and well-funded mobile startup Quibi. WarnerMedia has targeted 75 to 90 million global subscribers — 50 million of them in the U.S. — by 2025. Like its traditional media peers, WarnerMedia is balancing its legacy pay-TV distribution relationships with the new horizons of streaming.
Under the deal, HBO Max will be available on Apple devices and integrated with the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple TV.
At launch, customers will be able to access HBO Max on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD. Customers with second and third generation Apple TV models can stream HBO Max content from their iPhone or iPad to their TV via AirPlay. Existing HBO Now customers who are billed through the App Store and HBO subscribers through Apple TV channels will be able to get HBO Max for free. New customers of Max will be able to subscribe directly in the app using in-app purchase.
On the Apple TV app, which was revamped a year ago, subscribers will be able to find programming through the Watch Now section and a dedicated HBO Max room and search with Siri voice technology.
“As we prepare for the launch of HBO Max, our focus remains on making it as widely available as possible for customers seeking out this best-in-class streaming experience,” WarnerMedia Distribution chief Rich Warren said in the official announcement. “The availability to HBO Max across Apple devices is a great addition to our distribution offering and will provide seamless access for millions of customers.”
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