HBO has formally announced its plan to launch a standalone streaming service next year. The company’s chairman and CEO Richard Plepler made the announcement during the recent Time Warner investor meeting this week.
The new HBO service would be over-the-top and standalone, to be launched initially in the US. The pay TV channel said it would still work with its current partners prior to the roll out of the planned offering.
The new streaming service would target more than 80 million households that still do not have HBO. Currently, the company aims to take all means at its disposal to chase after those homes.
Pay TV and HBO GO
Presently, HBO is available to subscribers of the pay-TV package, who shoulder about $15 in extra fee on a monthly basis. It has launched an online-viewing option called HBO GO. However, that service is available only to those who have HBO subscription through their TV providers.
Through the new standalone service, users can sign up and access HBO GO without coursing through the pay TV subscription. This means that more people would finally be able to catch HBO’s popular TV shows like ‘True Detective’ and ‘Game of Thrones’ without waiting for the DVD release or accessing pirated video versions.
HBO’s streaming service
HBO first explored offering a standalone streaming service in 2012. That was through HBO Nordic that provides services to Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Norway. But the company has never tried that formula in the US, where it used to focus on running after up to 66% of about 101 million pay TV homes that still do not subscribe to HBO.
It can be recalled that back in February 2013, former COO Eric Kessler declared that a streaming service to match that offered by Netflix was not a profitable endeavor for the company. He assured that HBO’s cable partners were providing invaluable infrastructure and marketing support.
But that has apparently changed. The company has modified its stance, as indicated by its planned launch of its own standalone streaming service in 2015.