Late last year, we wrote about HBO’s plans to launch a stand-alone over-the-top service in the U.S. Well, it seems to be happening sooner than expected. In fact, International Business Times reports that HBO is in talks with Apple about launching on the Apple TV set-top box as early as next month. According to the report, the new service, to be called HBO Now, will cost $15 a month.
Without sharing any specific details or confirming the IBT report, HBO issued the following statement: “We know there’s great anticipation around our standalone streaming service. And when we have details to share, we will do so.”
Back in October, HBO chief Richard Plepler discussed the planned service during his presentation at Time Warner’s investor meeting. Referring to the 10 million households in the U.S. that are broadband-only, Plepler said, “It is time to remove all barriers to those who want HBO.”
Plepler said the company’s experience with HBO Go, which has caught on quickly among millennial viewers, encouraged them to take the step of offering HBO as a stand-alone service.
HBO has long resisted selling its services apart from cable companies for fear of threatening their relationship with cable providers. But, no doubt spurred on by the success of Netflix, HBO is shaking up their business model. Could this be the first step in the unbundling of cable TV?