HBO is set to to lose approximately five million of its subscribers through Prime Video’s channels platform today, as Amazon is canceling all of the premium cable network’s subscriptions. HBO’s loss of subscribers comes after its parent company, WarnerMedia, left its channels service, which allows Prime users to subscribe to streaming services via Amazon, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
In messages sent to subscribers earlier this month, Amazon said HBO subscriptions would be canceled today, September 15, and users will receive a refund based on their last billing cycle. A WarnerMedia executive with knowledge of the situation told The Hollywood Reporter that the premium cable network is expected to provide a special offer for Amazon subscribers after their subscriptions are canceled.
Previously, Prime Video users were able to individually subscribe to HBO through the channels platform for $15 a month. But late last year, WarnerMedia and Amazon reached an agreement to remove HBO from Amazon Channels this year.
The decision was made because WarnerMedia wants HBO Max to become the primary entry point for subscribers who wish to watch its streaming content. Through the deal, HBO Max will become available as a standalone app on Amazon Fire TV devices. Existing viewers who purchased HBO subscriptions through the channels platform were given access to HBO Max for no additional cost.
Speaking with Bloomberg last month, HBO Max chief Andy Forssell said the premium cable network was willing to lose subscribers in the short-term if it meant cutting out Amazon as the middleman. He added that the cable channel wants to have a direct relationship with its consumers instead, after doing the same with Roku and Apple TV.
“It’s important for us to own the customer,” Forssell said. “If the viewer is in the app, we can tailor the home page to them. We can tailor what they show them next. We can respond to that in real time.”
After cutting ties with HBO, Amazon is now offering $0.99 per month promotional subscriptions, for up to two months, to Paramount+, Starz and Showtime through this Friday, September 17. Amazon Fire TV users aren’t expected to experience any disruptions to their HBO Max subscriptions, but those without a Fire TV device will need to go directly through HBO Max to set up a new subscription