Cutting The Cord: HBO Will Offer Online-Only Subscription Service Starting 2015
HBO announced that starting next year they will provide streaming services to their consumers that won’t require a cable subscription. This decision will place HBO in direct competition with Netflix and other online services. HBO CEO’s Richard Plepler noted the change during an investor meeting for their parent company, Time Warner.
At the meeting, Plepler revealed there “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.”
Plepler also shared the three potential models for the prospective streaming service: provide an online-only service via HBO’s existing cable providers; sell their online service to new partners such as Amazon, Google or Microsoft; or create a Netflix-like service where HBO can market its services without a middle man. Entertainment Weekly says the majority of HBO fans are in favor of cutting the cord between cable subscriptions and television networks.
Games Of Thrones has proven to be the most successful show in HBO history. Because of its success, it has also become the most pirated show in the world. Ironically, those who illegally download the series have noted there is no way to legally obtain it in a timely manner without purchasing an expensive cable TV package.
HBO has not released anymore details about what content will available via their online service. Time Warner made $4.9 billion from HBO in revenue but the parent company may earn more if HBO becomes a web service to clients who want to leave cable or who never paid for cable services in the first place.
Will you be subscribing to HBO’s online services?