HBO’s Cable-Free Streaming Service: “HBO Now”


UPDATE: The rumors are true!  HBO Now will debut with Apple TV/iOS devices exclusively at first, on or before April 12th.  And the price will be 14.99 for access to all of HBO’s shows from the past and HBO live.  Wow!  What a big day for the network and TV at large.  More to come.

Will it branch out to all devices eventually?  Probably.  But we’ll have to wait and see who gets it and when.

And here’s the presser:

SAN FRANCISCO, March 9, 2015 – Home Box Office announced today the name of its standalone premium streaming service – HBO NOW – and that the service will launch this April, bringing the highly anticipated new product to audiences in time for the fifth season of Game of Thrones.  HBO and Apple also announced that for the first time an HBO subscription will be made available directly to Apple customers through HBO NOW.

HBO NOW provides instant access to HBO’s acclaimed programming.  Watch every episode of every season of the best series programming, more of the biggest and latest Hollywood hit movies, original HBO Films, groundbreaking documentaries, sports and comedy and music specials.  To subscribe to the streaming service HBO NOW, consumers only need the internet.

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  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.

“HBO NOW is the next phase of innovation at HBO,” said Richard Plepler, chairman and CEO, HBO.  “With this new partnership, a natural evolution for the network, we have access to millions of Apple customers who are used to getting their favorite apps immediately.  Now, they can do the same with an HBO subscription.”

“HBO NOW offers a new generation of HBO fans many of the best TV programs in the world without a cable or satellite subscription,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “Now, with the same simplicity as buying an app, customers can subscribe to HBO NOW and instantly start viewing their favorite HBO programs as they air – this is huge.”

And an FAQ:

What is HBO NOW?
HBO NOW is HBO’s new standalone premium streaming service that provides instant access to every episode of every season of the best of HBO’s award-winning original programming, more of the biggest and latest Hollywood hit movies, groundbreaking documentaries, sports and exclusive comedy specials.

What is the official launch date?
HBO NOW will be available to consumers beginning in April 2015.

What is the pricing for HBO NOW?
The price of an HBO NOW subscription through Apple is $14.99 per month. Prices may vary by participating partners. All you need is a high speed internet connection

How do I get HBO NOW and access content?
You can subscribe to HBO NOW using your iTunes account. Customers can access HBO NOW by going to, through AppleTV® or by downloading the HBO NOW app in the Apple App Store®.

What devices will HBO NOW be compatible with at launch?
At launch HBO NOW will be available on desktop/laptop computers as well as iOS devices, including iPad®, iPhone®, iPod touch® and Apple TV®. HBO NOW will roll out to additional devices soon.

How does the HBO NOW free trial period work and how long is it?
HBO® will offer a 30 day introductory free-trial period to new customers who sign up through Apple.

What is the difference between HBO GO® and HBO NOW?
HBO GO® is HBO’s authenticated online streaming service, available at no additional cost to HBO subscribers through their participating television provider.

HBO NOW is a new, standalone online streaming service that is available to all customers with a high-speed internet connection. HBO NOW subscription prices may vary by participating partners.

Both services provide instant access to HBO’s award-winning programming and more of the biggest and latest Hollywood hit movies.

Can I get HBO NOW through my TV or broadband provider?
We are in discussions with our existing network of distributors that sell broadband and hope to announce such relationships soon.

Will HBO be launching similar OTT services abroad?
We are exploring international opportunities and will provide updates as available.


Rumors have surfaced that shed a bit of light on the upcoming HBO standalone streaming service aimed at cord-cutters who would rather not pay for a large subscription package via a traditional cable company.  Announced last year that “sometime in 2015” HBO would debut this service, we haven’t heard much since, until now, apparently.

Here are the highlights from IBTimes‘ report:

  • The new service will be called “HBO Now” and will be completely separate from HBO Go.
  • HBO Now will cost around $15, about the same price as an HBO subscription is now.
  • HBO may be partnering with Apple to launch the service (no details were given on this).
  • The service will launch before Game of Thrones season 5 (April 12th).

Wow, that is a tall order to make happen in the next… 35 days!  We hope all of the above is true but we’ll take this with a grain of salt.  When a report cites “those who should know”, you must use caution.  We’ll wait for the official word from HBO before we remove that question mark from the title.

Stay tuned for more confirmed details as we have them.  Until then, HBO has promised us the service sometime in 2015.  We just don’t know when, what it will be called, how much it will cost and what the nature of the service will truly be.

We’ve put together a guide on how to watch HBO online so we’ll be updating that soon, as we learn more!


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