WarnerMedia once again confuses everyone in trying to clear up HBO Max confusion

(Image credit: Presley Ann/Getty Images for WarnerMedia)

The launch of HBO Max was so ridiculously confusing that just over two weeks later, WarnerMedia is scrambling to clear things up. They're attempting to, at least.

When the new WarnerMedia streaming service HBO Max debuted last month, it existed alongside HBO Go and HBO Now, leaving everyone forced to look up explainer articles about what exactly the difference between the three is. The short answer: HBO Max is a Netflix-like streaming service with HBO content plus other movies and shows, while HBO Go is where you stream just HBO content if you subscribe to the channel through cable, and HBO Now is where you can stream just HBO content if you don't have cable.

Apparently, WarnerMedia realized how overcomplicated that is, as on Friday, the company announced some changes. First of all, it's killing off HBO Go, saying that this app will be removed "from primary platforms as of July 31." The company is also rebranding HBO Now, so that will just be called "HBO." HBO Max stays the same, so there will soon be two options for apps: HBO Max and HBO.

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But there was still tons of confusion. For one, it was unclear what HBO Go users who don't have access to the HBO Max app are supposed to do now. HBO Max, after all, still hasn't launched on Roku or Amazon Fire TV, despite these being the two most popular streaming platforms. The announcement, then, sure makes it sound like for those who use HBO Go on Fire TV or Roku, the app is just disappearing with no replacement.

There's also likely to still be confusion about why, exactly, "HBO" (formerly HBO Now) is even a separate thing from HBO Max, given that they're both the exact same price. Stay tuned to see how WarnerMedia can somehow, improbably, make this even more confusing.

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.