By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman
There are three things in life that are certain:
Death, taxes and technical snafus for a streaming app on its launch day.
Subscribers to Max, the new name for HBO Max, encountered scattered technical glitches today after the service launched with the new moniker. Users complained of being unable to login and getting kicked out of the app if they could log in.
Roku owners lamented the new app was not available yet in the Roku Channel store (it wasn’t as of 11 a.m. ET). However, they could begin using Max by updating the HBO Max app if they were previous subscribers of the latter.
There were also reports that HBO Max subscribers were asked to input their user names and passwords to use the Max app although Max officials promised it wouldn’t be necessary.
A Warner Bros. Discovery spokesperson told Variety that the technical errors were minor.
“You must always anticipate issues on a tech rollout of this scale,” a Warner Bros. Discovery spokesperson said in a statement to Variety. “We can share that only minor ones have emerged and were quickly remedied.”
The statement seemed to be supported by Downdetector.com, which tracks online outages. The site found that fewer than 500 people were complaining on social media about Max’s technical status at the height of the issues.
The name change was announced last month but not implemented until today. Max has more programming than HBO Max, including eight times the number of 4K show episodes and movies.
Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) CEO David Zaslav says ‘Max’ will reflect the streamer’s new programming mix of both HBO and Discovery shows. WBD executives believe the HBO brand, which represents high-brow TV to some, could be a turn-off for potential Discovery viewers. They hope that the Max label will be more inviting to a larger audience which will help them better compete with broader services such as Netflix.
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— Phillip Swann