HBO Online Service Will Launch in 2015, Priced as Premium Product

Game of Thrones

HBO will launch its highly anticipated standalone digital service later this year, but the premium cabler remains tightlipped about what programs it will offer and how much it will cost.

“It’s a premium product and it will be priced accordingly,” HBO Chairman and CEO Richard Plepler said during a call with analysts on Wednesday.

HBO has said it is launching the over-the-top service as a way to crack the 10 million households in the U.S. that are broadband-only and don’t have cable packages.

The premium channel made a name for itself with the tagline, “It’s not TV, it’s HBO,” but it’s no longer the only game in town when it comes to creating water cooler shows. Other digital and cable players have embraced HBO’s model of producing edgy and distinctive content.

In recent years, FX has had success with the likes of “Louie” and “The Americans,” Showtime boasts “Homeland,” and digital upstarts such as Amazon and Netflix have made waves with buzzy shows such as “Transparent” and “House of Cards.” Plepler insisted that HBO still has a competitive advantage thanks to a critically acclaimed and commercially successful lineup that includes “Game of Thrones,” “Girls” and “True Detective.”

“It’s true there’s a plethora of competition out there, but it’s also true that more is not better,” he said. “Only better is better.”

“I like our hand a lot,” he added. “We’re going to get a first look at most everything that we want to make an investment in, in terms of content.”

In some cases, digital rivals such as Amazon have attracted customers to HBO rather than siphoning them away, he argued. Last year, HBO began licensing shows such as “The Sopranos,” ” Six Feet Under” and “The Wire” to Amazon Prime.

Plepler said the exposure is increasing interest in HBO’s subscriptions because Amazon users like the content being offered, telling analysts that the Prime deal ““only has a catalytic effect of driving people back to the network.”

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  1. Jim Vincent says:

    They already said HBO Go users could share their passwords, so I’m sticking with my free HBO for now. :)

  2. CommonSense says:

    People are willing to pay, but they should keep in mind that torrent sites are free. I don’t understand why HBO thinks it is so hot that they won’t use iTunes as a distributer of current seasons. They’d make money on it from people who don’t have HBO subs. but are still willing to pay just for GoT. But because they don’t offer it, they resort to torrent sites, in which case HBO gets nothing.

  3. please let it be cheaper then Comcast! i’m tired of giving them my moneyl

  4. clams says:

    Pro Tip- it won’t be cheaper than I pay my cable company for HBO/HBO Go access.

  5. JC Superstar says:

    I would guess they would do something like Tivo (or every magazine and other media) does, a higher month to month or lower year-long commitment, to avoid all the people getting HBO only for 3 months of Game of Thrones. I can see something like $9.99/month if you commit to a year or $13.99/month if you go monthly. Conversely, maybe they can do the anti-binge and put Game of Thrones on once a month for a full year.

  6. John Holmes says:

    They haven’t announced the cost yet because we all know it’s going to be completely overpriced. They don’t have the balls to price this in the $8-10 a month range. Chances are it will be closer to $15-20.

  7. tony says:

    Also water cooler shows? Shows for water coolers? Or about them?

  8. tony says:

    Why are they messing with cablers? You don’t need cables. Use the existing infrastructure like Netflix!

  9. Stop with the teasing – how much and will it be launched for GoT?

  10. David K says:

    anything more than 7.99-9.99 a month would be highway robbery. I have a feeling that they’ll try to pull something like 14.99 a month since it’s “premium product” That won’t work, sorry

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