Cable premium network HBO is reportedly in talks with Apple to have Apple TV as a partner in launching a new streaming service dubbed “HBO Now.”
HBO’s move would be a milestone in the changing landscape where traditional cable offerings and streaming services overlap.
What’s the benefit for consumers? For the first time, HBO will be directly available — free of bundled and costlier services through a cable or satellite distributor, such as Comcast or Verizon.
The retail price is expected to be $15 a month, reports ibtimes.com. HBO Now will most likely work with other popular streaming devices, such as Amazon Fire, Roku, Google Chromecast and Microsoft’s (MSFT, Tech30) Xbox. The HBO Now launch could come ahead of the April 12 debut of the new season of the popular HBO series “Game of Thrones.”
HBO has not yet confirmed the price or other details. “We know there’s great anticipation around our standalone streaming service. And when we have details to share, we will do so,” HBO said in a statement.
At this time, HBO Go (the media company’s streaming service and mobile apps) is only available to costumers who pay a premium for HBO through their cable or satellite provider.
About 30 million households pay for HBO, which is owned by Time Warner, through their cable company, but there are 80 million homes that don’t carry HBO — and that a huge potential market for HBO Now.
However, HBO may have different program offerings between HBO Go and HBO Now to avoid contractual problems with cable and satellite companies that carry HBO.