By Sahil Patel
In what has to count as a major coup for Apple (and a surprise move by HBO), the premium cable network plans to launch its highly anticipated standalone streaming service exclusively on Apple devices.
Confirming multiple reports on the name of the service (HBO Now), the price ($14.99), and target launch date (spring, in time for the April 12 premiere of the new “Game of Thrones” season), HBO CEO Richard Plepler made the announcement during an Apple press event in San Francisco on Monday.
“With this new partnership, a natural evolution for the network, we have access to millions of Apple customers who are used to getting their favorite apps immediately,” he said. “Now, they can do the same with an HBO subscription.”
At launch, HBO Now will be available online (at HBONow.com) and across Apple TV and iOS devices. Those who register for the service in April through Apple will receive a 30-day free subscription.
HBO said it’s still in discussions with its “existing network of distributors” as well as potential new digital partners on expanding HBO Now to additional platforms.
As for content, HBO also dispelled any indication that HBO Now would offer a limited library, especially when compared to HBO Go. Per the network, HBO Now will launch with more than 2,000 titles, including entire seasons of current series like “Game of Thrones,” “True Detective,” “Silicon Valley,” “Girls,” “Veep,” and “The Leftovers,” as well as classics such as “The Sopranos,” “Sex and the City,” and “The Wire.” New programming will become available on HBO Now as it airs on TV.
Outside of its original scripted dramas and comedies, HBO Now will also offer access to shows like “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” and “Vice,” as well as the network’s lineup of documentaries, films, and special sporting events.