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There's no denying that HBO has celebrated much success over the years. Recent mega hits like Game of Thrones and Westworld show the channel has some major appeal, but just how many are watching? The company revealed the numbers for its standalone streaming platform HBO Now, and it looks like over 2 million people are currently enjoying their programming through the service.
That number is quite an accomplishment, as Time Warner (who owns HBO) had revealed near the end of 2015, the same year it launched in April, that the service had around 800,000 subscribers. That means 1.2 million people jumped on board between then and now, which is a pretty steady growth that surely has everyone there smiling. The success of the program means more profit for the channel, as well as more leverage when it comes to bargaining with providers.
Don't worry, HBO isn't trying to bargain with you, but rather the cable and satellite providers. Increased subscription on the standalone HBO Now means that the channel can negotiate carriage terms and control more about how their channel is offered when it comes to Comcast, Charter, DirecTV, etc. As Variety states, the launch of HBO Now was the first time in the channel's history that it was offered as a standalone product and not part of a package deal with other networks or providers playing middle man. Having the ability to negotiate, knowing that they have a fairly sizable margin of viewers outside of the grasp of cable television, will help HBO in deciding the terms for how their product will be bought and sold through these companies in the future.
Even better news for HBO is that these subscribers are sticking around as subscribers. The service credits this to the content on the service being more broad and higher in quality than ever before. As someone who's family religiously unsubscribed after seasons of The Sopranos and Entourage ended, I couldn't agree more. Just when I think I've found the right time to get off the HBO train, they rope me back in with another series! It's not just the young crowd either, as Time Warner says the service is drawing in an older audience that can boast more reliable incomes. That means they don't get their cards declined when it's time to re-up for the month. If you're one of those people, don't worry, we all sacrifice watching Girls for a couple weeks so we can keep the lights on from time to time.