Only Apple TV box works with HBO Max and Peacock

Apple TV primarily competes against the Amazon Fire Stick and Roku’s range of streaming sticks. But now, with the debuts of HBO Max and NBC’s Peacock, Apple TV has become the best option for U.S. consumers – in fact, the only option for those who want HBO Max and/or Peacock – due to contractual disputes between HBO Max and Peacock with Amazon and Roku.

Apple TV 4K and its Siri Remote
Apple’s current Apple TV 4K and its Siri Remote

Benjamin Mayo for 9to5Mac:

HBO Max and Peacock cannot agree on terms with Amazon and Roku. As such, you cannot get the HBO Max app, or the Peacock app, on an Amazon Fire TV device or on a Roku stick.

Amazon wants HBO to include all of its Max content as a Channel inside the Amazon Prime Video experience. HBO Max doesn’t want to do this because they don’t want to be aggregated onto someone else’s platform in a UI they don’t control, with enforced revenue sharing and a limited customer relationship… HBO Max doesn’t have ads at the moment, but they want to launch an ad-supported tier as soon as next year. Roku wants HBO to agree to a revenue-sharing agreement for the commercials served through the Roku HBO Max app. HBO naturally doesn’t want this… Peacock is balking at Amazon’s and Roku’s terms for similar reasons.

For as much as we have heard recently about Apple’s draconian and potentially anticompetitive App Store policies, it seems like a walk in the park as far as access to the Apple TV platform is concerned. The terms for these companies to be available in the tvOS App Store are straightforward: Apple gets a cut of subscriptions made inside the app using Apple In-App Purchase or users can login with account information they got from elsewhere. Apple likes these apps to feature full integration with the TV app and Siri and everything else, but it’s not mandatory. HBO Max and Peacock have been available on Apple TV from day one.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple TV 4K costs a little more than Amazon and Roku streaming sticks, but it does so very much more, including HBO Max and Peacock! We’ll drink to that: Prost, everybody!

We believe the future of TV is apps. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, September 2015

13 Comments

        1. So what is your point? I think both applecynic and I were just pointing out that there are other options to watch Peacock and HBO Max outside of Roku, Amazon devices and AppleTV contrary to MDN’s change of the article’s original title.

            1. Ah, ok. Your mention of AppleTV as the sole example threw me off your intended point of other smartTVs not requiring external boxes. Adding Roku to that mix also clouded the issue since I don’t think the Roku App store distinguishes the TV from their external devices.

  1. This bollocks about who can be on what platform is really annoying. Rather than competing on quality they play these games trying to outdo each other. In the end the users lose out on having all the options to choose from.

    1. I don’t know… as an AT&T customer, I’m quite enjoying my free HBO Max. They COULD compete with Disney+ on quality, but just dumping it on me for free is totally fine, too!

      1. As a Spectrum customer, I’m pretty happy with the streaming package from them.

        $25 a month for 10 channels of my choice (from a list)
        $6 a month for local channels (Dallas area, so this with all the secondary channels is a huge selection)
        $15 a month for HBO, Showtime, TMC, Starz, Starz Encore COMBINED which also gives me access to HBO MAX as well as Showtime and Starz apps to watch from their Libraries.

        $46 dollars a month plus $5 a month for Netflix through T-Mobile and Amazon Prime basically thrown in for free since I pay mainly for the shipping!
        (TV) life is good.

        I have the Spectrum app on three TVs streaming wirelessly from a Netgear mesh, very stable. I have a 4K AppleTV plugged into my three year old 65″ Samsung and both have the Spectrum app. I have a ROKU TV in the kitchen with the AppleTV app built in along with the Spectrum app.

        I know this article is about the PissCock Network, but I have no desire to throw money to NBC.
        I would consider Disney if we had young kids.

        1. The ONLY folks upset with certain platforms getting certain benefits are those NOT on the right platform 🙂

          Spectrum sounds like a good deal and if I wanted it bad enough, there’s nothing stopping me from switching right now, that’s what choice is all about!

  2. I have a TCL/Roku TV, but I’m not feeling too sad.

    I kept my cable sub because I’m hooked on cable news, and Comcast (which owns NBC) gives me Peacock Premium through the cable box (no extra charge for now at least), and since my plan includes HBO, I can run the HBO Max app for no extra cost on my phone, and cast that back to the TV which has cast reception built in.

    And via Roku, I get Netflix, Hulu, and lots of other apps for channels that my cable sub includes.

    If I had a need for an Apple box I can buy one, but I don’t feel compelled by many of Apple TV’s offerings yet, so see no need to lay down any more do re mi.

    And I’m just stubborn about not joining Prime I’m giving bezos more money, especially since I already have more media coming at me than I could consume in 20 lifetimes, with a new torrent every day…

    1. Depending on the particular model of your TV, you may not NEED to buy an AppleTV box.
      Just search for the AppleTV app. I have it on my Roku TV.

      Even if you don’t subscribe (free for a year if you’ve recently bought something major from Apple) it is still good for casting from an iPhone, iPad or Mac, streaming iTunes, any home movies, DVDs or downloaded videos on your Mac plus Photos sharing.

      It’s not a MUST on my TVs but pretty nice to have, especially for old home movies.

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