October 16, 2014

HBO Will Add a Streaming-Only Service in 2015

HBO Logo
Facing pressure to reach customers who no longer subscribe to cable, HBO will offer a streaming service starting in 2015 that won't require a current HBO subscription.

Here's what HBO CEO Richard Plepler said about the streaming plan, which will first be offered in the US and rolled out internationally later:

That is a large and growing opportunity that should no longer be left untapped. It is time to remove all barriers to those who want HBO.

So, in 2015, we will launch a stand-alone, over-the-top, HBO service in the United States. We will work with our current partners.  And, we will explore models with new partners.  All in, there are 80 million homes that do not have HBO and we will use all means at our disposal to go after them.

It will be interesting to see how they implement the service, and whether it will be tied in any way to their HBO GO online streaming, which is offered to current subscribers to the channel on cable or satellite. As of right now, there aren't too many details, but the move makes a lot of sense, as streaming numbers continue to grow every year.

This may not actually have any short-term effects on the industry, since it's likely that those who are considered "cord-cutters" and already subscribe to Netflix or other services, may choose to add HBO, rather than switch completely. Long-term, however, there's a good chance most major cable networks will follow HBO's lead, and offer their own streaming-only plans. Pricing is still a major factor for people, and it will need to be competitive with other streaming services to have a chance at being successful.

However HBO decides to roll this out, one thing is clear: content is still king, and their track record is stellar.     

Your Comment

8 Comments

i'm indescribably happy.

October 16, 2014 at 10:02AM

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Alex Enman
Filmist/Colormaker
318

I am very excited about this. I think this will definitely be the first step in getting other providers to move in that direction. I would not be surprised if HBO streaming will start off with original content available only through that medium, in addition to older shows such as The Sopranos, The Borgias, perhaps The Wire.

October 16, 2014 at 10:33AM

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Jason Weiss
Videographer / Camera Operator
86

If it's competitively priced this is a smart move. Currently Game of Thrones is the most downloaded show on torrents. I can see the number of people downloading their content for free reducing dramatically because of it. I don't think people download from torrents because it's free, I think it's because there's not an easy way to watch the content, especially for international viewers. This will make it easier to get to their content. I'm really excited! I will be subscribing!

October 16, 2014 at 10:40AM

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Jamie Sergeant
Selfshooting Filmmaker, Writer
128

They had to go online to compete with Netflix and Amazon but one has to be weary of the US market's ability to handle all these services. Netflix's stock was pummeled yesterday when their earning report was announced - off by 20%. The subscribers are up but, if their stock gets hit even more, it will hinder their ability to purchase as many titles as they have recently (or, alternatively, pay for them as much as they have been paying ... $2M/episode of "Black List" is absurd, even if it's shot in 4K). At least, HBO will always have cable to fall back on if the streaming biz goes south.

October 16, 2014 at 11:57AM

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Dan Leo
234

It's not just Time Warner/HBO: this morning CBS announced a similar service for $6 a month for its own programming, but supposedly it has a few caveats. These cable companies were going to embrace the new movement whether they liked it or not, it was just a matter of time. Finally it's happening.

October 16, 2014 at 12:46PM

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from Yahoo News -

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/cbs-offer-stand-alone-subscription-1300265...

At some point, you'll see a consolidation and drop-out of some of these services .. Red Box ceased its streaming offerings this week ... but CBS and other networks have a wealth of material and now they won't have to sell it to the third parties like Netflix or Amazon because they'll be able to stream everything themselves .. in return, Netflix and Amazon are jumping into the original programming ... so, the US TV landscape went from three major networks in the 1970's to five-six in the 1990's to a soon-to-be infinite network system ... this should be good news for the independent filmmakers as well ... the biggest problems for the no/low/micro budgeted films remains their inability to find a suitable distribution partner ... now, every major streaming company - from YouTube to Amazon to Netflix to CBS to HBO will fight to deliver a high amount of usable inventory to their binge viewers ... the marginal losers here are the cable companies, who will have to carefully pick their partners as they take the next step ...

October 16, 2014 at 6:27PM

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Dan Leo
234

I'd subscribe, especially if they have there films on there as well, some of my fav films are done by HBO.

Though I often run into the problem on netflix of the film I want isn't available, though it probably is on some other service. I really don't want to have to subscribe to several different video streamers. I get the feeling people will choose one or two and then download films that aren't offered on there.

October 16, 2014 at 1:12PM

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Is an beginning for something "new"...

October 17, 2014 at 4:44AM

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Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director
7599

Can't wait 'til this isn't available in Australia!

October 17, 2014 at 5:52AM

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