HBO makes the surprise announcement that they will launch a streaming service called HBO Now and it will be exclusive to Apple devices at launch.
Video streaming services are big business, just ask Netflix. Also massively lucrative is HBO’s fantasy TV show Game of Thrones, with GoT being one of the most highly rated (and most watched) cable TV shows of all time. Mix streaming and GoT together and what do you get? You get HBO Now, a new video streaming service which will let users watch Game of Thrones and the rest of HBO’s currently and previously airing roster of television.
The cable TV network announced it at Apple’s recent event (where Apple also showed off the Apple Watch and a brand new MacBook). HBO revealed that HBO Now would will launch sometime in April, it will cost $14.99 a month although for the first month of its existence it will be free). While that price certainly seems expensive given that HBO Now only includes the TV offerings of one TV network (even if that does include hits like Girls and True Detective), what is good news is that now, anyone can sign up to to HBO Now whereas previously with HBO Go users had to have a cable subscription.
HBO also explained that HBO Now would be exclusive to Apple devices, including Apple TV, iPhones, iPads and iPods. HBO CEO Richard Plepler explained that:
“All you need to get HBO Now is a broadband connection and an Apple device. There will be a brand-new HBO Now channel on Apple TV so you can enjoy it on the big screen or you can watch HBO NOW on your iPhones and iPads.”
The move is certainly a surprising one but Apple has brokered this deal as part of a new, forceful strategy to sell Apple TVs. There are already 25 million Apple TVs in homes but this, along with the recent decision to sell them at $69 instead of the previous price of $99, could see Apple seriously improve on that figure.
HBO Now launches next month so we’ll be able to see just much of a device seller it is then.
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