Monday's Apple announcement event included a big one for fans of premium cable, without the premium price: HBO revealed that its new standalone service, HBO Now, will launch in April exclusively through Apple devices.
Touting the tagline "All you need is the internet," HBO Now will give users unlimited access to all of HBO's current and past programming, including its original comedies and dramas, new movies, live sports, and comedy specials. The service will require a subscription fee of $14.99 per month.
How it will work, via HBO's official press release:
Apple will give viewers the ability to enjoy HBO programming via HBO NOW. Upon launch, customers can subscribe using the HBO NOW app on their iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, or directly on Apple TV for instant access. Users can purchase HBO NOW directly in-app for $14.99 a month. Upon registering, subscribers will also be able to watch at HBONOW.com. HBO will offer a 30 day introductory free trial period to new HBO NOW customers who sign up through Apple in April.
HBO continues to be in discussions with its existing network of distributors and new digital partners to offer HBO NOW. At launch, HBO NOW will be available on iOS devices and on PCs.
The sticking point here is that users will have to already own an Apple device, through which they must subscribe, though the content can then be viewed on a non-Apple PC or other internet-connected device. That requirement may turn off some potential customers, though with the company's dominance in the tech world, it seems inevitable that the majority of consumers who are interested in HBO Now most likely already own an Apple device.
HBO Now will be launched "in time for the fifth season of 'Game of Thrones,'" according to the press release. That series is set to return on April 12.
[via: Engadget, TV by the Numbers]
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