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HBO’s standalone streaming service has been in the works for several months now, but on Wednesday a bunch of new details related to the new service were revealed. Notably, unlike HBO’s streaming service for cable subscribers HBO Go, the new subscription streaming service will be called HBO Now. More importantly, however, we now know how much it will cost. If you want to shell out for HBO’s library of original works, you’ll be expected to pay $15 a month—roughly even with the cost cable subscribers pay to add the subscription channel to their cable package.
The even better news is that, despite a rough start, HBO Now seems to be on track for a spring release. Early reports indicated that US audiences would be able to purchase HBO Now by the time Game of Thrones (and Veep and Silicon Valley) hits the schedule on April 12, and according to a new report from IBT, the April 2015 launch date will hold true. So, get your wallets ready.
In addition to simply getting the standalone service off the ground, HBO Now is also working out a deal with Apple TV that would enable Apple TV users to access the service via the set-top box. There’s a lot going on, and a couple of months ago, it didn’t seem nearly so certain that potential subscribers would be able to sign in by the time Game of Thrones Season 5 aired. Early on, HBO was trying to build the service in house, but later the company enlisted the help of Major League Baseball Advanced Media after there was some drama and restructuring within the company. No matter how they got there, it’s nice to know the service is going to be an option for households, and soon.
Honestly, April is a great time to launch a new service like HBO Now. Game of Thrones is far and away HBO’s most popular program, and would be the best time of year to entice non-HBO households to try the streaming service out. An early study indicated that up to 7 million total cable subscribers could opt to cut the cord in favor of HBO Now after the option becomes available. With potentially large numbers on the line, it’s smart that HBO would want to nab new subscribers during the most enticing part of the year.
HBO is only the latest subscription streaming service that has become available. Netflix and Hulu have already made huge marks on the streaming landscape, and those companies are finding themselves in direct competition with options like Sling TV and CBS’ streaming package. Now, HBO is being added into the mix, as well. It's an exciting time for home viewers to make TV choices.