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HBO, HBO Max, and Cinemax are all set to join the YouTube TV lineup soon. This marks a significant improvement to YouTube TV as it will allow subscribers to combine the service (and the cost) with their live TV subscription.
HBO and Cinemax are already available through a number of traditional TV companies, as well as some live TV streaming services, such as Hulu live. The confirmation that they will also now be available through YouTube TV helps to bring the Google TV service in line with those others. From WarnerMedia’s perspective, this gives the company yet another avenue to offer its popular over-the-top streaming service. Especially considering YouTube has now amassed over two million subscribers.
Both WarnerMedia and YouTube announced the partnership today although specifics on the deal were not provided. Even the launch date was not offered with both parties opting to simply say the HBO and Cinemax services will go live in the spring. Similarly, HBO Max will also be available through YouTube with that change taking effect when the Max version launches in a few months time. WarnedMedia highlighted how this is an expansion of the current relationship between the two, considering YouTube TV already offers access to TBS, TNT, truTV, CNN, HLN, Turner Classic Movies, Adult Swim and Cartoon Network.
Another option to bundle services
While many consumers have likely moved away from traditional TV as a means to de-bundle packages, it is now clear companies are keen on re-bundling again, but in a streaming capacity. Although this won’t appeal to some, to others it will prove to be a popular option.
One of the more common streaming complaints is what’s often referred to as “subscriber fatigue” due to how many streaming services there now are, coupled with the increased need to micro-manage those services. For those consumers who would prefer to couple one or two services together under one account and payment, these bundles can help. Another added benefit is the ability to save on switching between apps in general, as the HBO content will be integrated into the YouTube TV interface, similar to how Hulu offers HBO shows and movies.
Of course, there is unlikely to be any financial benefit to adding HBO, HBO Max, or Cinemax to a YouTube TV subscription, and in that sense, keeping things separate can also be beneficial. Especially as consumers tend to get a better experience when accessing apps designed with a service in mind.