HBO Knows Everyone's Confused About HBO Now vs HBO Go, So They Have a Solution

HBO has made several changes to its digital on-demand platforms and the latest change has people wondering what happened to HBO Go?

Devan McGuinness - Author

Jun. 12 2020, Updated 7:28 p.m. ET

We're spoiled for entertainment and after companies realized what a huge part of the market Netflix had for on-demand TV and movies, the competition is everywhere. It feels like every two months there's a new platform offering new selections of titles to keep ourselves busy with.

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HBO certainly hasn't held back in terms of giving people what they've asked for. In fact, they've maybe overdone the offerings and now people are wondering, what happened to HBO Go?  

HBO has a whole lot of apps and services, but what happened to HBO Go?

In an effort to bring more flexibility to its subscribers and to compete with others like Netflix, HBO has upped their on-demand game. HBO released HBO Go and HBO Now, both different apps that gave their customers different options.

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HBO Go was free to customers who subscribed to their cable's HBO package. It only worked if a customer was paying for cable, and then also for the premium upgrade to receive HBO.

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HBO Go allowed fans to access TV shows that were currently airing and past shows as well and was amazing until the company launched HBO Now. HBO Now was different in that it did not require customers to be paying for cable plus the premium. 

Instead, HBO offered a flat rate of $15 per month for a standalone package which did not require a cable subscription. It was an amazing offering – until the company launched another app called HBO Max.

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HBO Max is available at the same price as HBO Now, but it gives customers access to premium shows that were only available on that platform. HBO Now only contained HBO programs. HBO Max has new shows and movies that were created by Warner Bros and HBO, as well as access to shows on Warner Bros other properties, including the Cartoon Network, CNN, DC Comics, TNT, and TBS. 

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The three different HBO packages were confusing.

Customers like choice and the more the merrier, for the most part. But it was hard to ignore the confusing differences between the three different options HBO was offering alone. It felt very much like every time a family settled on one avenue, the company decided to drop another tier with more options and more confusion. 

People noticed and if you were confused, you were not the only one. And of course, the jokes started.  

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"It’s really not that hard guys, HBO Go and HBO Now WERE HBOMax but now they’ll become simply: HBO. And of course HBOJinx and HBORift will combine with HBOKids and HBONoggin and will become HBONiteNite along with HBOGoblins and HBOHamSandwich," one person tweeted. 

"HBOrange you glad we just said HBO?" another said. 

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HBO realized their options were confusing and changed it up… again.

As confusion grew, the company seemed to notice and decided enough was enough. On June 12, Variety reported HBO decided to make another change to their digital on-demand options. This time, instead of adding another confusing tier and program, they're dropping one. 

"It’s not HBO Now — it’s just HBO. And say goodbye to HBO Go, which later this summer will be entirely replaced with HBO Max," the site said. 

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HBO is getting rid of HBO Go and they're rebranding HBO Now to simply be titled HBO. “Most customers who have traditionally used HBO Go to stream HBO programming are now able to do so via HBO Max, which offers access to all of HBO together with so much more,” a WarnerMedia spokesperson said. 

So, there we have it – no more confusion… hopefully.

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