HBO‘s forays into the digital world era have been troubled at best. Their HBO Go service, strictly for cable subscribers, has been hampered in the past with streams straining to meet the demand for high volume episodes, and a sometimes confusing ability to even set up the service. But that all (presumably) ends today.
HBO has teamed with Apple for HBO NOW. Via the Apple TV or through an in-app purchase, users can fork over $14.99 per month to grant them access to HBO’s library of content, both new and old. Perhaps best of all, you don’t need a cable or satellite subscription. So forget searching for torrents — as soon as a new episode of your favorite show starts airing on HBO, you can stream it from whatever iOS device or computer you want. And of course, on your TV with Apple’s device (which they’ve just dropped to $69).
However, is that price point worth it? Netflix is $8.99 per month and has much more content to choose from… unless you want HBO’s shows and movies. And especially with lots of other streaming services in the mix — Amazon, Hulu and more — customers will really have to start weighing where to put their entertainment dollars, as having more than one service will start to add up.
So let us know what you think below. But first, check out a new trailer for “Game Of Thrones” season five, plus the promo for HBO NOW, followed by the official press release.
SAN FRANCISCO, March 9, 2015 – Home Box Office announced today the name of its standalone premium streaming service – HBO NOW – and that the service will launch this April, bringing the highly anticipated new product to audiences in time for the fifth season of Game of Thrones. HBO and Apple also announced that for the first time an HBO subscription will be made available directly to Apple customers through HBO NOW.
HBO NOW provides instant access to HBO’s acclaimed programming. Watch every episode of every season of the best series programming, more of the biggest and latest Hollywood hit movies, original HBO Films, groundbreaking documentaries, sports and comedy and music specials. To subscribe to the streaming service HBO NOW, consumers only need the internet.
Apple will give viewers the ability to enjoy HBO programming via HBO NOW. Upon launch, customers can subscribe using the HBO NOW app on their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, or directly on Apple TV for instant access. Users can purchase HBO NOW directly in-app for $14.99 a month. Upon registering, subscribers will also be able to watch at HBONOW.com. HBO will offer a 30 day introductory free trial period to new HBO NOW customers who sign up through Apple in April.
HBO continues to be in discussions with its existing network of distributors and new digital partners to offer HBO NOW. At launch, HBO NOW will be available on iOS devices and on PCs.
“HBO NOW is the next phase of innovation at HBO,” said Richard Plepler, chairman and CEO, HBO. “With this new partnership, a natural evolution for the network, we have access to millions of Apple customers who are used to getting their favorite apps immediately. Now, they can do the same with an HBO subscription.”
“HBO NOW offers a new generation of HBO fans many of the best TV programs in the world without a cable or satellite subscription,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “Now, with the same simplicity as buying an app, customers can subscribe to HBO NOW and instantly start viewing their favorite HBO programs as they air – this is huge.”
Similar to HBO GO, HBO NOW will offer more than 2,000 titles online. This includes current critically acclaimed series like Game of Thrones®, True Detective®, Silicon Valley®, Girls®, Veep® and The Leftovers®, as well as classics like The Sopranos®, Sex and the City®, True Blood®, The Wire® and Deadwood®.
Highly-anticipated upcoming original programs like Westworld, the drama series starring Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris and Evan Rachel Wood; The Brink, the dark comedy series starring Jack Black and Tim Robbins; the new season of the Emmy®-winning True Detective with Vince Vaughn, Colin Farrell and Rachel McAdams; and HBO Films’ Bessie, starring Queen Latifah, will become available on HBO NOW as they air on HBO.
In addition, HBO NOW will showcase Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, named “best of 2014” on many critics’ lists; VICE, the Emmy®-winning, cutting-edge news magazine series hosted by Shane Smith; HBO Sports documentaries, series and World Championship Boxing events; and groundbreaking documentary programming like Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst and the Oscar®-winning Citizenfour.