HBO to Introduce Standalone Web-Only Subscriptions in 2015

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Oct 15, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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.
    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.

    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."

    Article Link: HBO to Introduce Standalone Web-Only Subscriptions in 2015
  2. farewelwilliams macrumors 68020

    Jun 18, 2014
    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."
  3. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
  4. flux73 macrumors 65816

    May 29, 2009
  5. arian19 macrumors 6502


    Jul 9, 2008
    This should have happened a long time ago... but nice to see it happen regardless
  6. darkslide29 macrumors 65816

    Oct 5, 2011
    San Francisco, California
    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.
  7. bigchrisfgb macrumors 65816

    Jan 24, 2010
    Beware. Sky in the UK have done this (somewhat) and at least for the sports pass it's far more expensive, £10 a day.
  8. arian19 macrumors 6502


    Jul 9, 2008
    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.
  9. Ballis macrumors 6502a

    May 27, 2008
    Oslo, Norway
    This is how HBO Nordic works in Scandinavia right now.
  10. Wahlstrm macrumors 6502a


    Dec 4, 2013
    Just give me the Apple TV-app and I´m all yours... :)
  11. miamialley macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2008
    Irvine, California
    If only ESPN would do this. Wait, didn't NFL Network announce something like this. [runs away to go check]


    Lol. I'm good if I have sports channels, Netflix and Amazon Prime. I just pretend other TV shows don't exist. Time wasters mostly anyway.
  12. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000


    Nov 20, 2007
    People in the US: "ohhhh, nice"

    Rest of the world: "snooze..."

    Guess there had to be some benefits to being American... ;)
  13. Tiger8 macrumors 68020

    May 23, 2011
  14. Iconoclysm macrumors 68020


    May 13, 2010
    Washington, DC
    So you're saying it will take 10 years before anyone gets it right?
  15. Patriot24 macrumors 68030


    Dec 29, 2010
    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.
  16. Renzatic Suspended


    Aug 3, 2011
    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    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.
  17. Iconoclysm macrumors 68020


    May 13, 2010
    Washington, DC
    Obviously, the price of cable is too high.
  18. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    Gets excited.

    Sees price.

    Not so excited anymore.
  19. octothorpe8 macrumors 6502

    Feb 27, 2014
    And we all realize the ISPs are just going to respond with more expensive bandwidth, right? They're gonna make you pay one way or another...
  20. betabeta macrumors 6502a

    Jun 28, 2013
    Beginning of the end for Comcast.

    Or they just raise rates "again"

    Hey someone has to pay for the new skyscraper they are building.:D
  21. V.K. macrumors 6502a


    Dec 5, 2007
    Toronto, Canada
    You do?! Is it just for HBO or for all channels? How does it compare in terms of cost to the package system? (I assume you have that too).
  22. macmikey2 macrumors regular


    Jul 6, 2008
    West Chester, PA

    "it's been way too long..."

  23. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    I'm so in. Cut my cord like 12 years ago. HBO has the best everything. Just need a way to pay with my iTunes account.
  24. macs4nw macrumors 601


    Bold move by HBO; someone had to be first. I suspected it would only be a matter of time before some content creator or provider would make that first leap of faith. If anyone could afford to irritate, and thoroughly annoy the cable/sat giants, it would be HBO.

    If this works out for them (and they will be watched closely to be sure), in time more content providers are sure to follow.

    In the end, are we going to pay less? Probably not. But we will have more options to customize what we want to watch, and where.
  25. gugy macrumors 68040


    Jan 31, 2005
    La Jolla, CA
    Yeah, this sound interesting but again I watch something like 6 to 8 channels and some live sports. I am sure if I buy all "a la carte", it will end up costing the same of my DirecTV.

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154 October 15, 2014