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.”