HBO Max Pressures Amazon to Make a Deal by End of Year

With a distribution deal still not in place months after the launch of HBO Max, WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar is putting pressure on Amazon to come to an agreement before the holiday season.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Kilar talked through the negotiations with Amazon, commenting that he’s “optimistic” that the service will be available on Amazon Fire devices at some point.

“As we head into the fourth quarter, when gift giving happens, it becomes a more material situation for a seller of hardware. There are alternatives in Google Chromecast and Apple TV,” Kilar told Bloomberg.

When it comes to why the deal hasn’t yet been made, Kilar didn’t go into detail but again pointed to Amazon, saying “If Amazon were truly focused just on the consumers with Fire devices, HBO Max would be on Fire devices. The consumer wants it.”

AT&T CEO John Stankey commented during the company’s quarter 2 earnings call that Amazon has been preventing a deal by “treating HBO Max and its customers differently than how they’ve chosen to treat other services and their customers.”

Just after HBO Max launched, NBCUniversal was in a similar situation with Amazon and Roku and the company’s new streaming service, Peacock. At that time, a source told CNBC that the issue was with Amazon wanting the apps to be available through Amazon Channels while HBO Max and Peacock were each looking for a standalone app. Standalone apps would give WarnerMedia and NBCUniversal more revenue, along with full access to first-party user data.

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