WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar took some jabs at Amazon this week amid ongoing discussions geared at getting HBO Max onto its Fire TV devices. The statements were made during a long-form Bloomberg interview with the CEO regarding the state of the business and other related topics.
Specifically, Mr. Kilar was questioned about the sincerity of his statements regarding putting the consumer first. The question was asked in the context of the wider internet-based market. Namely, as something that "all the big internet companies say" even though they then conflate putting the company's interests with consumer needs.
The executive confirmed a belief that many companies do that when questioned about whether or not it's "bad for society."
But he went a step further too when asked to provide an example. Mr. Kilar pointed directly to Amazon. "If Amazon were truly focused just on the consumers with Fire devices," he noted, then HBO Max would be on those devices. Because that's something consumers want.
Why isn't HBO Max on Amazon Fire TV devices?
The chief executive went on to explain that there are other alternatives to Amazon's Fire TV for HBO Max. More poignantly, Mr. Kilar notes that it's going to be up to 'the Seattle folks' to make a deal happen. When HBO Max Launched, as with at least a couple of other new services, it did so without any support from Amazon. And it didn't have support from Roku either.
Despite that, it managed to garner over a million new users in a matter of weeks, Mr. Kilar says.
In the interim, it has struggled to gain a footing on either of those platforms. In particular, that's reportedly been the result of stalled discussions over exactly how distribution will be handled. HBO Max wants greater control while Amazon has reportedly sought to maintain its own control by launching it via Prime Video Channels.
Amazon stands to lose Fire TV consumers or traffic
But the time for leisure on Amazon's part is effectively over, according to the WarnerMedia executive. With the approach of the holiday season, not hosting HBO Max becomes a more "material situation" for viewers. Especially when they can turn to Chromecast devices or Apple TV for streaming the service directly from the respective app.