HBO and Apple Team Up

If you’re a fellow cord cutter then no doubt you’ve been just as giddy as myself at the thought of a standalone HBO service — dubbed named HBO Now — ever since it was announced it was in the works. Catching things like Last Week Tonight, Real Sports and more all without paying a premium cable television bill seemed too good to be true. Today HBO may have shaken me out of my dream scenario as today the company announced at an Apple event that the service will debut next month…specifically on Apple TV.

To their credit, HBO Now will be able to be streamed from any web browser, but only with Apple TV will the customer be able to see the premium programming on their televisions. No Roku, Chromecast, Fire TV or other service will be available at launch. CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter reported the HBO/Apple exclusive deal will last three months though that is yet to be confirmed by either company. On the hardware side of things, Apple is reducing the price of Apple TV from $99 down to $69,

Statista shows Apple TV holds a clear lead among streaming services, nearly double the share of the second place Roku.

streamingmarket

With almost 60% of the streaming market shutout of utilizing HBO Now to its full potential or be forced to make an additional upfront hardware purchase, I’m struggling to maintain my previous enthusiasm.

(Header image via HBO)


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You can catch David spouting off about baseball, soccer, esports and other things by following him on twitter, @davidwiers.

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Stuck in a Slump
Guest
Stuck in a Slump

This was very disappointing. I had hoped that I could use the service on my PS4, since it’s my primary streaming device. Hopefully they’ll open it up to more services soon as it would be a much bigger cash cow for them in the long run.

David Wiers
Guest
David Wiers

Couldn’t agree more. From a money standpoint, I think this hurts HBO more than it helps. Maybe I’m overestimating the cord cutter market, but this seems like a half-step rather than real progress.

I want more sports streaming
Guest
I want more sports streaming

I agree that this seems like a half-step rather than full progress. But HBO still has a relationship with the traditional cable providers that it needs to protect. I think this move is more about testing the waters while also putting more pressure on the Comcasts and Time Warners for the next time negotiations come up.

I just hope that this move also empowers the sports networks to further explore their options for reaching customers. The time for a la carte, pick-your-channel cable is almost here.

Stuck in a Slump
Guest
Stuck in a Slump

Then again, remember how the iPhone boosted AT&T sales while allowing it to get established? Could the goal here be to test the market with the largest single streaming device and then move on to less profitable markets to increase sales if it turns out to be popular?

Deelron
Guest
Deelron

I think it makes a lot of sense, 3 months (assuming the report is accurate) is hardly a large amount of time, HBO and Apple both get publicity for the service/product, HBO gets to trial run HBO NOW (judging by the troubles they had with their CTO, it may not be a bad thing) and take what they learn from the 3 months of usage by the subset of the 43% that purchase the service (I can easily see Apple TV group as a good analog of what higher use streamers (who are also willing to pay) may use) can be applied when it’s open to everyone in the (hopefully) not too distant future.