By Sahil Patel
HBO’s upcoming streaming service will be called HBO Now and is expected to cost $15 per month.
The news was first reported by the International Business Times, which also reiterated that HBO is hoping to launch the service in the spring, in time for the season premiere of “Game of Thrones” on April 12.
The service is expected to be available across a variety of platforms, including Apple TV, Roku, Xbox, PlayStation, and connected devices from companies like Amazon. Apple, IBT reports, has been aggressively courting HBO in hopes of becoming a launch partner for the service. Apple TV already offers the HBO Go app, which offers the network’s TV and film content to authenticated users.
It’s still unclear how HBO Now will function — specifically what its content offering will look like. When announcing plans for a standalone service, HBO was careful to note that it has no intention of cannibalizing its existing (and very lucrative) pay-TV business. One way to protect that is to certainly not offer all of its content on HBO Now, or window it in a fashion that still prioritizes its TV and HBO Go offerings.
While an April/spring launch is expected, that won’t be the case if the product isn’t ready, according to IBT. HBO has had issues in the past with HBO Go breaking down during peak moments on its programming calendar, such as the season one finale of “True Detective” and the most recent season premiere of “Game of Thrones.”
The $15 price would be in the range of what people already pay to access HBO on TV — though it obviously won’t require people to pay for scores of other channels to get there. It would also cost more than Netflix, which charges $8 to $12 depending on the tier of service.
“We know there’s great anticipation around our standalone streaming service. And when we have details to share, we will do so,” said an HBO spokesperson in a statement.