Along with the complete details of the Apple Watch & a new, light-as-hell MacBook yesterday, HBO CEO Richard Plepler was on-hand at yesterday’s Apple event to confirm the details of the network’s long-rumored standalone service — HBO Now.
For $14.99 per month, non-cable subscribers will have the opportunity to view both new and classic HBO shows, movies, and sporting events. As expected, the cableless HBO will be available just in time for fans to catch the upcoming 5th season of Game of Thrones.
Rather unexpected, though — only Apple customers will get access to HBO Now in April.
That’s right; Apple has orchestrated HBO Now exclusivity — for three months. After this initial offering, other streaming providers will come into the fold as well, though there’s no word yet on who or when (or, if different platforms will negotiate their own price-point).
Apple negotiated exclusive early-access to HBO Now as a clever marketing ploy for its own Apple TV product; which, as of yesterday, has been reduced to just $69. This price makes the service more comparable with Google’s Android TV & Roku (but still above the paltry $35 for a Chromecast) — but, as those other services won’t have access to HBO Now until after the newest season of GoT ends, it may just be low enough to push those consumers on the fence over to Google’s backyard.
Consumers won’t need Apple TV however; HBO Now will be available in April to all iOS users as well And, hopefully, those opting for the mobile version will have the chance to cast to their TV, as HBO GO users do now.
Personally, I feel like the $14.99 monthly price tag, which is double what Netflix charges, is a bit steep. Though, as I’ve said in the past, I have no interest in “cutting the cord” — therefore, I’m not really the target audience for this service. And, I guess I would consider paying $15 per month to avoid hearing GoT spoilers if I had no other option.
Do you think $14.99 for HBO Now is too steep, or would it be worth the investment for access in April?