“HBO Now” coming this spring for $15 per month, with Apple as launch partner
Apple TV will get the standalone streaming service when it launches in April.
Update: Apple and HBO officially announced HBO Go for Apple TV and iOS at its event this morning. The service will launch in April for $14.99 per month, with the first month free for early-bird subscribers.
Official story: A source speaking to the International Business Times said that HBO will launch its standalone streaming service, called HBO Now, for $15 per month this spring with the premier of Game of Thrones. The company is also working with Apple to make Apple TV one of the launch partners for the service, the sources said.
HBO’s standalone streaming service has been greatly anticipated. For a monthly fee, viewers will be able to get HBO content without having to pay for an entire cable package. HBO’s long-standing relationship with pay-TV packages has prevented it from capturing key audiences, including younger people who may have never paid for TV service before and watch most of their entertainment online. HBO currently has a streaming service called HBO Go, but a bundled TV package is required for access.
HBO will serve up its content with the help of Major League Baseball’s Advanced Media platform, a decision that was made after the network decided to throw out its homemade streaming platform in late December. HBO’s Chief Technology Officer Otto Berkes also resigned at that time.
At $15 per month, the service will be priced similarly to what consumers pay to add HBO onto their cable packages. The International Business Times estimates that an online streaming version of HBO could capture up to 70 million customers who currently con’t subscribe to a pay-TV service.
The service will likely be available on other platforms as well, but “Apple has been most aggressive in courting HBO in a bid to add the service to Apple TV,” the International Business Times‘ sources said.
Ars contacted an HBO spokesperson who stated, “We know there’s great anticipation around our standalone streaming service. And when we have details to share, we will do so.”
Dish Network is trying to launch a similar standalone streaming service called Sling TV to cater to “cord cutters” and “cord nevers,” people who may not ever have paid for bundled TV service. That service offers a dozen or so channels, delivered over the Internet, for $20 per month.