On Monday, HBO made the announcement that its standalone streaming service would be launched next month on Apple devices just in time for the season premiere of the successful series ‘Game of Thrones’. This is a move by the network to become accessible to millions of viewers who choose not to subscribe to television packages. The service has been given the name of HBO Now and will be charged $14.99 on a monthly basis. The package would include the network’s lineup of the popular Hollywood movies along with the present, past and future series of HBO. This information was provided at an Apple event held in San Francisco by Richard Plepler, the Chief Executive and Chairman of HBO.
This is the first time that people who have shunned traditional TV packages offering dozens of channels will be able to have easy access to the premium network as long as they have a proper internet connection. Dish Network Corp and CBS Corp are some other media companies that have also chosen to take steps for reaching these audiences. After Tim Cook, the Apple CEO introduced Plepler at the event, he said that this could turn out to be a huge moment for HBO.
On the downside, this move by Time Warner Inc.’s network could prove to be a huge threat to video businesses of satellite and cable companies. These companies are already struggling to keep customers engaged and get them to subscribe or maintain their subscription to TV packages. Apart from that, streaming services such as Netflix Inc. will also have to deal with this increased competition provided by HBO. Sex and the City and Sopranos are some of the hits that can be found in HBO’s library. Beginning from early April, all Apple devices, including the Apple TV box, iPod Touch, iPads and iPads will be able to take advantage of HBO Now.
The fifth season of the popular and hit series Game of Thrones will have its premiere on April 12th. For three months, Apple will be able to provide HBO Now exclusively. The network is also trying to convince the traditional TV distributors to provide this service to their customers in April as well. In an interview, Plepler said that pay TV distributors have an opportunity with HBO Now and they can use it to package it with smaller TV bundles or with broadband-only bundles for improving their customer retention rates. In this way, they will be able to get some portion of the monthly revenue.
He said that their business would see a boost in this manner. The distributors and AT&T, Verizon and Disc did not comment on this matter. Customers who have a subscription of TV packages have been made aware that HBO Go streaming service is separate from HBO Now. The iPhone maker also made the announcement that it was reducing the price of Apple TV from $99 to $69. After this announcement, both Apple and Time Warner saw an increase in share price of 0.4% and 1.3% respectively.