The International Business Times is reporting that HBO is currently in talks with Apple, one of its launch partners, to debut HBO Now, a new standalone streaming subscription service that will begin next month and allow new paying customers to access HBO content online without having to purchase a monthly subscription through cable, satellite, or a T.V. distributor.
Several other streaming distributors will be marketing HBO Now including Amazon’s Fire, Google’s Chromecast, Microsoft’s Xbox, Roku, and Sony’s Playstation.
HBO is working with streaming partner Major League Baseball Advanced Media on the standalone streaming service.
Time Warner Inc., which owns HBO, hopes to market HBO Now to an estimated 10 million broadband customers who do not pay for a cable bundle while also appeal to 70 million cable T.V. subscribers who do not subscribe to HBO but might if given the opportunity to subscribe online.
“This will be transformative for our company….. It is time to remove all barriers to those who want HBO. We will go beyond the wall and launch a stand alone over the top service with the potential to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue” said HBO CEO Richard Plepler last October during a cord cutting ceremony.
As of October 2014 HBO generated $1.4 billion in revenue internationally through its existing distribution agreements, covering 90 million subscribers in over 60 countries.
HBO NOW Is Different Than HBO GO
HBO Now is not to be confused with HBO Go, a streaming video service that is a complementary service for existing HBO television subscribers.
The two services are distinct and will have separate log in pages and separate apps.
The International Business Times report states that the monthly cost for HBO Now will be $15.00.
Some cable providers such as Cablevision and Cox Communications have already expressed interest in bundling HBO Now with their own broadband paying subscribers who don’t get cable T.V.
The threat of a standalone streaming subscription service poses a threat to existing distribution providers that are already promoting HBO in their cable packages in addition to other streaming video service companies such as Amazon and Netflix that will soon be faced with more competition.
John Schweitzer is a Seattle based writer covering stories in finance, politics, and tech