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HBO to offer standalone service in 2015
HBO CEO Richard Pleper has announced that next year HBO will begin offering a standalone broadband video streaming service. This means that HBO’s 30.4 customers will not be tied to a bloated and expensive cable subscription in order to access the HBO programming. Unfortunately, details on the service are still missing so we do not know how much it will cost or how the service will specifically work.
“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 CEO Richard Pleper
As HBO stated in a press release, the US currently has 10 million broadband-only households and that number is likely to grow as cord-cutting continues to grow. According to research firm eMarketer, 45 percent of Americans stream TV shows at least once a month. That number is expected to rise to 53 percent by 2018.
As Karl Bode notes at Broadband Reports, HBO and Time Warner executives have stated for years that it did not make economic sense to offer a standalone version of HBO GO as it could damage their “cozy, subsidized relationship with traditional cable operators.”
That has opened the door to companies like Netflix who are now seen as rivals to HBO.