HBO Max needs to fix this one big problem now

I want to love HBO Max, but it surely would possibly not let me. 

Last year noticed HBO Max thrive at the content material side, thank you to WarnerMedia's determination to deliver big theatrical motion pictures to the service at the similar day the ones movies hit theaters, because of how theaters were last throughout the Covid-19 pandemic's early days. Dubbed "Project Popcorn," this choice was met with a big embrace from audiences, and an equally destructive reaction from filmmakers such as Christopher Nolan. We at Tom's Guide beloved this choice, and soon positioned HBO Max on the most sensible of our best streaming service ratings.


Stream Time is where Tom's Guide senior editor Henry T. Casey dives into the big choices we make about streaming media. We take on it all, from the most efficient and worst streaming services and products and gadgets, to the unending listing of presentations to watch.

HBO's core competency has been, and almost definitely will ceaselessly be, the quality of its programming. I was reminded of this on Monday, (January 3) when I began the HBO Max original collection Station Eleven. This grim, however fairly hopeful, adaptation of Emily St. John Mandel's story of humanity earlier than, during and after a flu pandemic wipes out 98% of the human inhabitants, had me hooked.

Or no less than it did until the HBO Max app got in the way in which.

HBO Max goes down, down, down

HBO Max works neatly frequently enough for everybody to realize it's not some fly-by-night operation run on Ethereum and a hope. It's simply that after it breaks (and it does), customers who're used to this taking place suppose "oh, not again!" This is a slightly unique factor, as a result of outages in competing streaming services are a lot more uncommon. Netflix was once one of many products and services impacted by means of a Dec. 7, 2021 Amazon Web Services outage, however those that know enough knew that wasn't a Netflix trojan horse but an Amazon factor.

The bigger HBO Max brouhahas, comparable to the issues in June 2021 with the HBO Max Apple TV app, get a large number of coverage. That similar month, we noticed another outage.

See extra

Other times these outages get less consideration, equivalent to studies of issues on Android TV on Dec. 21 that led to screens to go black. HBO Max is conscious about these issues, and has been running on them (as used to be documented in Josef Adalian's record in Vulture), but they retain happening.

To get a 2nd opinion on this, I called up Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore, who said that it is all about frequency. Even despite the fact that, he notes "a micro-crisis can feel like a macro-crisis in the moment," it is all about "the difference between an anomaly or a trend, and that everyone has their own acceptable levels." Because, he notes "When I want to watch Cobra Kai, it better be there."

This was once the case I bumped into on Monday (Jan. 3), as I finished the primary episode of Station Eleven only to in finding HBO Max not able to play episode 2 (at approximately 12 p.m. ET). Check it out for your self:

See more

I virtually went right back to Yellowjackets (whose second episode I had but to start), however I did not need to. All I sought after to do was once learn what happened to Jeevan and Kirsten in Station Eleven. So, I fiddled round, and then tried ready it out, doing little chores and different bits of home tasks. 

Then thought of one thing: I may take a look at some other streaming software. Yes, in contrast to most people, I have nearly each unmarried streaming tool in my rental. And since I believed the problem might be contained within the Apple TV app, I unplugged my Apple TV 4K and plugged in the superb Roku Ultra (2020), and located that HBO Max was operating there (around an hour after I found the primary bug). I only percentage it to provide an explanation for how weird those outages will also be, no longer to provide a solution: no one will have to personal both an Apple TV 4K and a Roku Ultra, until they quilt this business.

Around 1:24 p.m. ET (when my streaming was disrupted for an unrelated) I went back to take a look at HBO Max at the Apple TV. And it was working. So, all in all, this used to be a mini-crisis, nevertheless it hurts HBO Max's recognition up to anything else. I used to be unsurprised to get negative sentiments about the service in my mentions. My buddy Jason Million mentioned "a year later and the app is still trash," whilst an online acquaintance declared it "Truly the worst app known to the human race."

Does HBO Max need to recuperate? How will that occur?

While these outages and mistakes are anxious for us, when do they change into a problem for HBO Max? Like all streaming products and services, HBO Max needs to struggle churn — the development where subscribers cancel and renew their subscriptions, making the carrier's revenue much less strong. In my case, it is not taking place any time soon, as HBO Max has numerous stuff I'm taking a look forward to.

Churn may occur for HBO Max for those who hit a month or two in a row the place you don't see causes to keep subscribing. Because when that occurs, it could mix with the aforementioned negative reviews concerning the web page, and give people another reason to move away. Dergarabedian agreed, pronouncing "it could lead to a tipping point for some to cancel, as a glitch in the system leads to a lightbulb moment about how they're not using a service enough — and this can happen for any streaming service." 

This may arise extra ceaselessly, Dergarabedian mentioned "among those who hit that point where people are trying to figure out where to cut corners, if they're looking for a reason to leave," to meet a budget. 

While I'm certain some at HBO Max may not be at liberty to see me masking my very own micro-crisis with trying to watch Station Eleven, this tale is not the problem. The actual issue is what number of other individuals are going via similar issues. Just have a look at the "Tweets & replies" section of the HBO Max Help Twitter account, they're in the market.

HBO Max's buyer fortify is doing its best. But being told to wait when different apps are operating doesn't really feel like a really perfect situation.

Be certain to check out my guides to the best streaming devices (and best streaming services) for more suggestions. Email me at [email protected] or leave a remark beneath with the rest you’d like to see me quilt within the streaming global — I would possibly just address it in a future installment.

You May Like Also

  • Dec. 7, 2021 Amazon Web Services outage
  • "Tweets & replies" section
  • Roku Premiere | HD/4K/HDR...
  • Chromecast with Google TV
  • iPhone 14 rumored release date, specs, design and leaks
  • Best free PS4 games in 2021
  • The best Google Pixel 6 cases
  • The notch-free iPhone 14 could look just like this
  • iPhone 14 rumored release date, specs, design and leaks
  • Best free PS4 games in 2021
  • The best Google Pixel 6 cases
  • The notch-free iPhone 14 could look just like this