HBO to Introduce Standalone Web-Only Subscriptions in 2015

Popular premium cable channel HBO has announced plans to introduce a web-only subscription service designed for cable cutters in the coming months. According to HBO CEO Richard Plepler, who spoke at an investor presentation (via Re/code), the company will begin offering standalone HBO service that does not require a cable subscription in 2015.

"That is a large and growing opportunity that should no longer be left untapped. It is time to remove all barriers to those who want HBO.

"So, in 2015, we will launch a stand-alone, over-the-top, HBO service in the United States. We will work with our current partners. And, we will explore models with new partners. All in, there are 80 million homes that do not have HBO and we will use all means at our disposal to go after them."

HBO's decision to offer a standalone subscription is a major victory for cord cutters and the first major shift away from cable-only access to premium content. Cable companies like Time Warner and Comcast have been highly resistant to piecemeal pricing and companies like HBO have been reluctant to shift away from traditional cable delivery models in order to avoid upsetting existing revenue streams.

apple_tv_splash_2014
The television industry's reluctance to shift to a new content delivery model that strays away from cable has long been rumored to be the major reason why Apple has been unable to deliver the revolutionary television experience that it originally envisioned.

Early rumors suggested Apple was aiming for an a la carte subscription television service that would replace existing cable packages, but the company eventually scaled back on its TV ambitions and is now said to be working with cable companies on a deal that would see it providing cable content overlaid with an Apple TV-style interface.

According to Plepler, HBO will work with "current partners" on its upcoming standalone service, which possibly suggests that the web-only version may allow Apple TV users to access HBO content on their set-top boxes without a cable subscription, but details on the product are scarce at this time.

It is not clear if the standalone service will be the same as the service provided to cable subscribers who opt for HBO, but presumably, the deal will give those who purchase the web-only subscription access to the company's most popular shows like "Game of Thrones" and "True Detective."

Tag: HBO

Top Rated Comments

farewelwilliams Avatar
85 months ago
in about 5 years:

"Man, I have to subscribe to HBO, Showtime, FX, AMC, Netflix, Comedy Central, etc...I wish I can just subscribe to all content at one low, discounted monthly rate."
Score: 60 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Patriot24 Avatar
85 months ago
Too true.

We don't want to buy music a la carte. We want a monthly subscription to get all content at one price.
Then the opposite.. We don't want to subscribe to cable. We want to buy our channels a la carte.

This is almost as confusing to me as the consumer obsession of wanting phones to be bigger and tablets smaller.
I don't think the issue is A La Carte vs. Subscription. Most people would be content with cable subscriptions if they offered more realistic tiers or options where the consumer could get the channels they want without paying for extraneous channels. Currently, everyone ends up paying into a big bucket for content that they may not care about or watch.

Imagine a service where you pay $10/month for connection and local channels. $20/month gets you any 15 channels of your choosing. HBO is then a la carte for $5.

$35 per month for just the content I want to watch without being forced into paying $15/month to get one channel that is included in a "pack" with 50 others that I don't want. Done deal.

Of course, you could have more tiers of 30, 50, 75, 100 channels to sell at various price points. The ability to choose what channels/shows/content you actually want is the key.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
arian19 Avatar
85 months ago
in about 5 years:

"Man, I have to subscribe to HBO, Showtime, FX, AMC, Netflix, Comedy Central, etc...I wish I can just subscribe to all content at one low, discounted monthly rate."
I don't know if this is correct. HBO is already an add-on subscription service, however if you wanted it, you MUST have at least basic cable. Which is kind of backwards. All this does, is not require that you have basic cable.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Renzatic Avatar
85 months ago
in about 5 years:

"Man, I have to subscribe to HBO, Showtime, FX, AMC, Netflix, Comedy Central, etc...I wish I can just subscribe to all content at one low, discounted monthly rate."

This is pretty much true. And you know what the best solution is?

...offer both. That way, people who want a'la carte get a'la carte, and people who want stick with the more traditional lump TV package can still get it.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
darkslide29 Avatar
85 months ago
in about 5 years:

"Man, I have to subscribe to HBO, Showtime, FX, AMC, Netflix, Comedy Central, etc...I wish I can just subscribe to all content at one low, discounted monthly rate."
Too true.

We don't want to buy music a la carte. We want a monthly subscription to get all content at one price.
Then the opposite.. We don't want to subscribe to cable. We want to buy our channels a la carte.

This is almost as confusing to me as the consumer obsession of wanting phones to be bigger and tablets smaller.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
arian19 Avatar
85 months ago
This should have happened a long time ago... but nice to see it happen regardless
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

samsung experience 1

Samsung's 'iTest' Lets You Try a Galaxy Device on Your iPhone

Thursday April 8, 2021 12:42 pm PDT by
Samsung has launched "iTest," an interactive website experience that's designed to allow iPhone users to test out Android on a Galaxy device, or "sample the other side," as Samsung puts it. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iTest website is being advertised in New Zealand, according to a MacRumors reader who came across the feature. Visiting the iTest website on...
sonny 2021 ipad mini pro dummies

Leaked Dummy Units Show iPad Mini 6 With Thick Bezels and Home Button, New iPad Pro Models

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:11 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple will release refreshed versions of the iPad mini and iPad Pro models in the first half of this year, potentially as soon as this month, and a new leak today has provided us with a possible preview of what to expect in terms of the devices' overall design and camera prospects. Tech leaker and Apple blogger Sonny Dickson this morning shared images on Twitter showing dummy ...
apple music for artists new icon

Apple's Revamped Apple Music for Artists Icon Leads to Speculation About iOS 15 Design Plans

Tuesday April 6, 2021 1:03 pm PDT by
Apple yesterday updated its Apple Music for Artists app with some minor bug fixes and improvements, but also one other notable change -- a new icon. New icon on the right The Apple Music for Artists app now features a simpler, streamlined icon with a pinkish red music logo rather than the multicolored logo that was used before. The icon also has an embossed look that makes it stand out from...
apple find my network

Apple Announces Find My Network With Support for Third-Party Devices

Wednesday April 7, 2021 10:06 am PDT by
Apple today announced the launch of its Find My network accessory program, which is designed to allow third-party Bluetooth devices to be tracked in the Find My app right alongside your Apple devices. According to Apple, the first accessory companies to take advantage of the new Find My integration include Belkin, Chipolo, and VanMoof, with devices set to be available beginning next week. ...
new m1 chip

M1 Mac RAM and SSD Upgrades Found to Be Possible After Purchase

Tuesday April 6, 2021 5:34 am PDT by
Technicians in China have reportedly succeeded in upgrading the memory and storage of the M1 chip, suggesting that Apple's integrated custom silicon for the Mac may be more flexible than previously thought. Reports of maintenance technicians being able to expand the memory and storage of M1 Macs began circulating on Chinese social media over the weekend, but now international reports have...
Intel MBP Is Thin and Lighjt

Intel Ad for 'World's Best Processor' Features a MacBook Pro

Wednesday April 7, 2021 9:51 am PDT by
Intel has been on a relentless marketing drive against Mac computers in recent weeks, positioning them as inferior to Windows laptops powered by Intel processors. In a slight slip-up, however, Intel has accidentally used a MacBook instead of a Windows laptop in one of its newest ads to promote one of its new 11th-generation chips as "the world's best processor." The ad appeared on Reddit and ...
tmobile 5g modem

T-Mobile Launches Unlimited 5G Home Internet for $60/Month

Wednesday April 7, 2021 2:18 pm PDT by
T-Mobile today hosted an Un-carrier event where the company announced the launch of a a new 5G home internet plan, which is priced at $60 per month and offers unlimited data. The service is available to more than 30 million Americans across much of the United States, including 10 million households in rural areas not typically able to access reliable broadband. Connectivity will be either 4G ...
iMessage Android featured

Apple's Rationale for Not Bringing iMessage to Android Revealed in Legal Documents

Friday April 9, 2021 2:22 am PDT by
It's no secret that Apple sees iMessage as a big enough selling point to keep the service exclusive to Apple devices, however new court filings submitted by Epic Games in its ongoing lawsuit with the company reveal just how Apple executives have rationalized their decision not to develop a version of iMessage for Android. Apple clearly recognizes the power that iMessage has to keep users...
14

Apple Seeds Seventh Betas of iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday April 7, 2021 10:04 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the seventh betas of upcoming iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta updates coming one week after Apple released the sixth iOS and iPadOS 14.5 betas. iOS and iPadOS 14.5 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. iOS 14.5 is the...
ipad pro and macbook pro

iPad and MacBook Production Reportedly Delayed Due to Global Chip Shortage

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:31 am PDT by
Apple is facing a global shortage of certain components for some of its MacBook and iPad models, causing the Cupertino tech giant and its suppliers to postpone production of the products, according to a new report from Nikkei Asia. According to the report, MacBook production is being hindered due to the shortage of chips mounted onto the circuit board before final assembly, which is a key...