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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)


The much-anticipated service will be available only on Apple products at first and use the MLB Advanced Media streaming platform.

Last October, I reported that HBO would launch a standalone streaming service in 2015. Today, several sources are confirming that the new service, called HBO Now, will start streaming next month in time for the April 12 fifth-season premier of Game of Thrones. The announcement was made by HBO CEO Richard Plepler at this morning's Apple Watch event.

Why would HBO make such an announcement at an Apple event? Because the service will be available exclusively on Apple products such as the Apple TV, Macintosh computers, and iOS mobile devices for the first three months, though according to re/code, it might come to existing pay-TV partners before that.

HBO's current streaming service, HBO Go, is available only to those who already have a subscription to HBO via cable or satellite. This has caused much consternation among cord-cutters and cord-nevers, who get their TV entirely from online sources and perhaps over-the-air terrestrial broadcasts. They want to watch HBO's great content, but they don't want to pay for a bunch of unwelcome channels to get it.

Clearly, HBO sees an opportunity here—it estimates there are 80 million homes without HBO, a huge potential addition to the 30 million that pay for HBO on cable or satellite. However, the company is risking the ire of those cable and satellite providers, which are concerned that the new service might draw customers away from the premium packages that include HBO.

For example, according to a story at Ars Technica that cites a Wall Street Journal report, DirecTV's contract with HBO includes provisions to punish the channel if its online-only service gets too popular. As stated in the Ars Technica piece, "According to 'people familiar with the matter,' DirecTV's contract with HBO stipulates that if HBO 'signs up more than 450,000 subscribers nationally for the 'over-the-top' online service, or 300,000 in any given local market,' then DirecTV has the right to scale back its marketing of HBO. The source also told the WSJ that hitting those subscriber numbers would give DirecTV the right to sell HBO's streaming service through its own billing department as well." Apparently, HBO's parent company Time Warner thinks it's worth the risk, even to its own cable service.

Cost-wise, it's a wash for consumers. HBO Now will cost $15 per month, about the same as adding HBO to a cable or satellite package—and the first month is free to those who subscribe in April. That's more than Netflix at $8 to $12 per month, but less than Dish Network's new Sling TV service at a base price of $20 per month. In addition, Apple announced that it will drop the price of the Apple TV streaming box from $99 to $69.

HBO Now will be delivered by Major League Baseball's Advanced Media streaming platform. According to Ars Technica, the company shelved its own streaming platform late last year and decided to partner with MLB, a move that led CTO Otto Berkes to resign.

I have not yet seen an answer to this question: Will the new service offer all the same content as HBO and HBO Go, or will it be limited to a subset of that content? Such a limit might help appease the cable and satellite providers, but it would definitely anger consumers.

Update: Thanks to djsketchie, who cited an article on the USA Today website that answers this question. The article quotes Plepler saying that the new service will have access to all of HBO's original content "past, present, and future." Good news for consumers, but perhaps not-so-good news for cable and satellite providers.

What's your take on the news? Are you a cord-cutter or cord-never who's been waiting for HBO Now? Will you subscribe to the new service?

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If Plepler's word is bond:

"Priced at $14.99 per month, the service will have access to all of HBO's original content 'past, present and future,' Plepler said."

It looks like it's HBO Go, just under a different name for cord cutters. Not having to subscribe to basic cable with broadcast channels that can be picked up for free with an antenna just to access HBO is a big deal.

I for one will be canceling my TV service with Time Warner in April as soon as it's live.

Source for above information here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2015/03/09/hbo-standalone-streaming-apple-exclusive/24654077/

I didn't watch the Apple event live, but I'm assuming that quote is from the event.
 

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IMHO there is already a increasing willingness for residents with high speed internet to drop bundled cable and satellite subscriptions, and go with a over-the-top (OTT) video service subscription of just the video services they would like to receive.

Dish's already is marketing their own OTT service (SlingTV) which has ESPN and Time Warner streams. Add that you already have CBS Corp. and Viacom Inc’s Nickelodeon in the marketplace, along with Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal planning a comedy streaming service later on.

HBO More represents a real value for people that want access to their content, especially since you can sign up for just a month at a time.

Check out this article: Seventeen percent of U.S. broadband households are likely to subscribe to an OTT HBO service
 

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I hope it's content is streamed in 5.1 on all devices, unlike HBO go which is only in stereo on my PS3.
 

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I am a bit annoyed about having to wait an extra three months for the Apple exclusivity to go away, but pleased overall.
 

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Is it 1080p and without judder? I don't know what resolution HBOgo is but it's definitely below 1080p and has a slight noticeable judder. On purpose i believe.

I hope now since HBO has it's own subscription that the quality will be better.
 

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Good play HBO, except for the initial Apple exclusivity. (I am a fan of Netflix and Amazon, not Apple). I have not had cable or satellite for more than 20 years now but I did recently subscribe to Sling TV (thru Amazon).


I think this move, along with Sling TV, could be the beginning of the end to over-priced and poor quality cable service. If the content providers simply take care of the real customers (the viewer), I think they will soon discover the big cable and satellite companies are an unnecessary evil. Netflix and Amazon already know this to be true. My only fear is that the price of internet service will sky rocket.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If Plepler's word is bond:

"Priced at $14.99 per month, the service will have access to all of HBO's original content 'past, present and future,' Plepler said."

Source for above information here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2015/03/09/hbo-standalone-streaming-apple-exclusive/24654077/

I didn't watch the Apple event live, but I'm assuming that quote is from the event.
I didn't see the USA Today article about it, and none of the ones I did see had that quote; thanks!
 

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MMMmm, mildly interesting.

I understand HBO wants to retain prestige and valued as a premium content creator/provider. At $15 a month it definitely lacks overall value in comparison to other sources of streamed content such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu+, etc. Seems unjustified.

Evidently there are rumors that the subscription price will vary depending on what ISPs and Cable providers negotiate with HBO.

Best regards,
KvE
 

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MMMmm, mildly interesting.

I understand HBO wants to retain prestige and valued as a premium content creator/provider. At $15 a month it definitely lacks overall value in comparison to other sources of streamed content such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu+, etc. Seems unjustified.

Evidently there are rumors that the subscription price will vary depending on what ISPs and Cable providers negotiate with HBO.

Best regards,
KvE
Let's see. Netflix-HBO content not available,Amazon-prime HBO content only available after 3yrs and some shows not at all. Hulu+ ,No HBO content available.
Value is relative.
 

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You forgot two other sources for those that have no legal qualms.

P2P-HBO content available hours later, Usenet-HBO content available hours later. I am sure that for many $15 is worth it to have peace of mind when it come to legal matters.
 

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Value is relative and for me the only program that interests me is Game of Thrones and I usually pickup the BR releases. So I could spend a likely $15 "rental" fee after all the episodes have premiered for a month whereas Netflix alone I have a broad selection of quality content to choose from, clearly aside from the mediocre programing. That also facilitates discovering great content I would not have discovered within such a confined and limited garden that HBO provides.

$8 with Netflix provides access to an enormous selection to choose and discover from, whilst $15 with HBO only gains me their catalog.

Best regards,
KvE
 

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$15 a month... yeah no thank you... I only care about Game of Thrones anyways so yeah I will just keep using my friends HBO Go and or alternative means of getting the episodes...
 

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You forgot two other sources for those that have no legal qualms.

P2P-HBO content available hours later, Usenet-HBO content available hours later. I am sure that for many $15 is worth it to have peace of mind when it come to legal matters.
Legal qualms spelled as T-H-E-F-T ?
 

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I was an avid subscriber for years and after cutting the cord a few months ago, I was excited to learn HBO would offer a streaming service. Since cutting the cord I have become big on using Netflix, Hulu + and torrents (HTPC). After watching the Apple event yesterday and learning it would cost just about $15 a month I became a little upset. At almost $180 a year I can not justify paying that. It's just not worth it to me. I guess for now I will stick to what I currently use. Not to mention other outlets have talked about jumping on the streaming wagon which means you'd be right back to cable prices again before you know it.

Judd
 

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At nearly double the price of netflix, what does HBO offer, besides Game of Thrones, that would warrant such a price? I'm not an HBO subscribers so I don't know, but I do know that Netflix has stepped up their game in the form of content and for the price, you get 1080p, 5.1 and select 3d titles, kind of hard to beat that.
 
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