Roku was as big as any other piece of technology in the last decade-plus in helping cord cutters begin to realize the dream of ditching big cable. Those little sticks – which started as a bit bigger of a box – ushered in a world in which we could start connecting those premium streaming services to our televisions with only an HDMI cord and a few clicks. But as the years have gone on, and more platforms emerge, they aren’t all easily adaptable to Roku’s service. The newly formed HBO Max was one of those services, but there is a new workaround to get it on Roku.
This recent report outlines how Roku users can, in fact, get access to HBOMax if they so desire. Roku’s latest update, version 9.4, allows access to Apple AirPlay 2. Users can play HBO Max from their iPhones, and using AirPlay 2, will be able to watch the streaming service through their Roku device. Sure, it involves a few extra clicks, but this does represent a relatively easy workaround to watch the huge catalog of shows and movies HBO Max is putting on their platform.
Back in 2007, we were still at the relative dawn of online streaming content. That’s when Netflix began offering the option to users as they began the move away from their DVD service. It was a pivotal moment and began the seismic shift to what we see now and how we interact with content. Roku wasn’t too far behind, in 2008 working a deal with Netflix to collaborate as a way to bring the streaming service to television sets.
Since then, Roku has developed ways to get almost every relevant streaming app on its service including Amazon, Sling, the original HBO, and really almost anything that is/was available. But as more streaming services pop up, bringing them to Roku hasn’t been totally seamless. For instance, NBCUniversal took months to get on to Roku because of disputes over revenue sharing and advertising guidelines. They finally settled in late September, but it spoke to what will likely be issues going forward.
The relationship between HBO Max and Roku is somewhat similar. Roku wants to continue selling HBO as a premium subscription, but HBO Max wants to migrate away from that offering on to their new service. It’s led to a standstill between the two companies.
This workaround could also speed along with the negotiation between the two companies seeing as how it doesn’t appear to come under any violations from the Roku end of things. If there is just a functional way to bypass the current issues with getting HBO Max on the platform, the latter may see it as inevitable to just work with Roku to make the transition a single click to their service.
Both sides should be incentivized to make a deal work. HBO Max has a wealth of great stuff coming down the pike including huge news that Wonder Woman 1984 might possibly be streaming coming January. That’s in addition to a treasure trove of other DC Universe stuff coming down the pike as well. This could ramp things up and make popping HBO Max on Roku easier than the aforementioned workaround.