HBO Now will be an Apple exclusive for three months

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Photo: HBO
Photo: HBO

HBO is finally embracing cord-cutters by offering up a dream product: unlimited access to all of its content for $15 per month, no contract required.

The new cable-free service is set to premiere next month, just in time for the Game of Thrones season 5 premiere, but in order to access it you’ll need either an Apple TV or an iOS device. Apple signed an exclusivity agreement with HBO to sell the new service, and according to a report from Recode’s Peter Kafka, Apple’s exclusive access will last for the first three months.

“The three month exclusive does not apply to the pay-TV distributors that are already carrying HBO, which means it’s possible that Apple could be joined at launch by pay-TV providers like Cablevision or Cox, as the International Business Times has previously reported. But industry sources say many pay-TV providers have bristled at HBO’s plans to sell a standalone service, which weren’t announced publicly until October.”

The deal to bring HBO Now to Apple TV and iOS set in motion over a year ago. HBO’s CEO Richard Plepler reached out to Eddy Cue to see if Apple would be interested in selling its subscription service and a deal was quickly finalized.

To capitalize on its HBO Now exclusivity agreement, Apple has dropped the price on Apple TV down to just $69. There’s no details on how big of a cut Apple gets for HBO Now subscription sold, but it’s likely higher than the 30% it takes on apps. Pay-TV providers usually take half of all subscriptions sold, so going exclusively through Apple might even save HBO some money for now

Other partnership deals will also likely be struck with Amazon and Roku. HBO Now’s FAQ says the service will be rolling out “to additional devices soon.”

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  • Dick Dickson

    15 bucks a month is too much to pay for HBO.

  • spqr_ca

    More specifically, an Apple U.S. exclusive… I guess I’ll need to pick up some iTunes cards on my next trip across the border, assuming I want to pick this up. Not entirely sure yet, I only watch Game of Thrones.

  • amcgrath

    the value of cord cutting is rapidly diminishing. ISPs are virtually all cable providers and have manipulated their pricing to the point that having internet only saves me about ten dollars a month,when i get rid of cable tv. add $5 bucks here for a podcast and $12 for netflix , $15 dollars a month donation to another podcast, $7 for a subscription to a radio stations podcasts and i am already paying more than ever – i believe the $15 monthly payments for HBO would buy me an extra three tiers of cable channels – or about 15 – 30 extra channels. The value of paying for stand alone services evaporates when the stand alone company charges three or four times what they would get from a cable company AND the consumer still has to pay the cable company for their internet anyway.

  • Eggyhead85

    1) can I access it from an American registered Apple device in Japan?
    2) does this only work with an Apple TV? I have a Mac Mini -far superior to an Apple TV – under my set.