HBO CEO Richard Plepler has revealed the new standalone internet service ‘HBO Now’ will be coming one week before the premiere of Game of Thrones on April 12, and will cost $14.99 per month.
It is as we expected, but one of the unexpected twists is Apple has an exclusive deal with HBO Now. The streaming service will be available on Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad to start off, and the first month is free if you subscribe in April.
This is a big score for Apple, considering HBO was reportedly in talks with Cox Communications, Cablevision, Google and two other companies on potential deals.
“Subscribers will be able to view past, present and future content,” said Plepler at the Apple Watch event. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook hinted at more TV announcements coming soon, stating “this is just the beginning.”
What Plepler did not confirm is if HBO Now will be available in other countries. By the sounds of it, the launch will be US only, meaning a significant portion of the viewing audience for Game of Thrones is going to be left unsatisfied.
It might come to places like the United Kingdom and some parts of Europe, but at a later date. The specifics are still unknown however, perhaps Plepler just didn’t mention any of the available countries at the event.
HBO Now includes on-demand and streaming, meaning subscribers will get HBO content at exactly the same time as HBO cable subscribers. This is a big move by HBO to capture the 10 million cord cutters in the US.
It is still a small move compared to Netflix and HBO will need to work on bringing more content to keep customers happy. HBO is bringing a range of movies to the service, but didn’t specify from which providers.