Apple in talks to become launch partner for cable-free HBO Now service

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited March 2015
Apple is in negotiations to make the Apple TV a launch destination for HBO's standalone streaming service reportedly called "HBO Now," which could launch in time for the fifth season of Game of Thrones premiering April 12, according to a new report.




Plans to launch a streaming service independent of a cable or satellite subscription have been public knowledge since October. Until now, though, there was no name attached, or any pricing or availability details.

But on Wednesday, a new report from the International Business Times claimed that the service, said to be known as "HBO Now," will cost $15 per month -- about as much as viewers would pay a cable company, though providers often force customers to pay for additional bundles if they want HBO.

Apple has allegedly been "most aggressive" in trying to secure an Apple TV deal. The set-top box is already one of the homes to HBO Go, which requires an authenticated subscription through cable providers, but it's believed that Apple could add a second app for HBO Now.

HBO's development partner on the service is said to be Major League Baseball Advanced Media. That company is reportedly building both the back-end and the front-end, but with some leeway on its deadlines so HBO executives can be sure the service works at launch.

During last year's season premiere of Game of Thrones, the on-demand HBO Go service collapsed under network traffic. That left some people waiting hours or days before they could stream the fourth season's first episode.

Apart from the Apple TV, HBO Now will likely appear on other platforms where HBO already has a presence, such as Roku and Xbox. It could have a significant impact on the cable and satellite industry, which has leveraged networks like HBO and sports channels to deter people from jumping ship to streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28

    I would be up for anything that makes it easier to want to cut cable ties.

  • Reply 2 of 28
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,836member

    $15/month? Hmm... I don't know about that. How much is it to just get a season pass on iTunes (or is such a thing even available)?

  • Reply 3 of 28
    buckalecbuckalec Posts: 192member
    Oh please god! free me from the evil clutches of Cablevision's and Verizon's duopoly from hell
  • Reply 4 of 28
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,594member
    I would be up for anything that makes it easier to want to cut cable ties.
    I am not so sure if this is that much different. Sure, the interface will be much improved but we still have to pay monthly for a package, the content of which we may only want a little of.
    Personally I look forward to the day all new and live content is available on iTunes against a 'per view' or 'season' purchase. I am fine with everything older than new being available on Netflix.
  • Reply 5 of 28
    This will be welcome news if true, although I would have preferred a rate more in line with Netflix's all-you-can-eat $7.99/mo. Also, can't believe they would hire MLB app builder because it is the WORSE UI experience and performance of any I know - having struggled with it for the past 5 seasons.
  • Reply 6 of 28
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,208moderator
    The price is quite high at $15/month for just one channel. NBC is reportedly considering offering one for $2.50-3.50/month:

    http://www.engadget.com/2015/03/03/nbc-comedy-streaming-service/

    although they planned to split the channel into genres and that one is just comedy shows.

    It makes sense to price it high first and then lower the price as they build up subscribers but it will make uptake slow because people are already paying cable at the same time to avoid missing out on shows. They should go global with these services in order to ramp adoption up faster. Going global with content will help Apple TV sales worldwide too.

    The HBO service going down because of Game of Thrones is an example of where content delivery for on-demand could do with being treated more like broadcast. If a whole town is watching an episode of scheduled programming, they can send the exact same 10 seconds of footage to the entire town at the same time. With on-demand, they have to send the data being requested by each person.

    ISPs should really get some kind of local caching feature for movies so that if one user makes a request for 10 seconds of footage from a clip from a particular Netflix URL, it stores that block in its own local network. If another user requests the same block, they don't have to get it from the source because too many requests to the source will take it down so they send it from the cache because it's the same data. That way it would behave more like broadcast. They can perhaps pre-cache entire movie libraries for popular content at a particular period of time from major providers to tackle the network load problem.

    Another route to go would be use a separate protocol like tv:// for video content and ISPs would make sure to dedicate bandwidth to this protocol at all times so you'd pay for two separate things - a dedicated on-demand video stream (5Mbps for 720p, 10Mbps for 1080p, 20Mbps for UHD) with guaranteed bandwidth and an internet line and the bandwidth of one doesn't affect the other. An internet user would be allowed to point their dedicated video stream at anyone streaming video over that protocol and the protocol can be specially designed to handle localized caching while being fully on-demand. The cable provider itself would send their own TV down the dedicated stream.

    It does mean you couldn't easily stream multiple different feeds over the same dedicated stream but the protocol could be received over the internet stream, the bandwidth just wouldn't be guaranteed for those.
  • Reply 7 of 28
    This will be welcome news if true, although I would have preferred a rate more in line with Netflix's all-you-can-eat $7.99/mo. Also, can't believe they would hire MLB app builder because it is the WORSE UI experience and performance of any I know - having struggled with it for the past 5 seasons.

    Not sure about that. MLB AM's stuff is generally pretty solid, they handle a lot more than baseball.
  • Reply 8 of 28
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,976member
    Marvin wrote: »
    The HBO service going down because of Game of Thrones is an example of where content delivery for on-demand could do with being treated more like broadcast.

    That happened because of the ineptitude of the company they hired to handle their streaming services. I read an article about it last year, but cannot find the link now.
  • Reply 9 of 28
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    "And will be available tomorrow."

    *cheers*
  • Reply 10 of 28
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,836member
    cali wrote: »
    "And will be available tomorrow."

    *cheers*

    Seems doubtful.
  • Reply 11 of 28
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,976member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

     

    $15/month? Hmm... I don't know about that. How much is it to just get a season pass on iTunes (or is such a thing even available)?


    Yeah. That price is BS because it costs my bandwidth too. $10/mo makes more sense. It got to be cheaper than through cable which doesn't require internet access.

  • Reply 12 of 28
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,976member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by paxman View Post





    I am not so sure if this is that much different. Sure, the interface will be much improved but we still have to pay monthly for a package, the content of which we may only want a little of.

    Personally I look forward to the day all new and live content is available on iTunes against a 'per view' or 'season' purchase. I am fine with everything older than new being available on Netflix.

    I agree. I like to get specific shows/series, not everything in the channel. I'd like what Netflix did with Marco Polo, releasing the entire season at once.

  • Reply 13 of 28
    kent909kent909 Posts: 708member
    I wonder if this will be announced at Monday's event.
  • Reply 14 of 28
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tkrunner1738 View Post

     

    I would be up for anything that makes it easier to want to cut cable ties.


    Me too... :)

  • Reply 15 of 28
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,034member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

     

    $15/month? Hmm... I don't know about that. How much is it to just get a season pass on iTunes (or is such a thing even available)?


     

    It's going to be at least $15 a month.  It's sure not going to be CHEAPER then having cable and getting it that way otherwise the Cable company's would be up in arms and HBO makes a lot of money from them.  If it was cheaper, people would just drop the Cable subscription of it and just get HBO GO on their own for cheaper.

     

    I think it's already to much when I think of what Netflix costs.  It shouldn't be more then $9.99 a month.  That'll never happen.  I dropped my premium channel showtime from Comcast many years ago because of rising prices.  Still with just CableTV with a Duel DVR Tuner Box for 1 TV and Mid speed Internet, I was paying Comcast $170 a month!!!!  I dropped them a few years ago.  I get U-Verse for Internet Only now.  It's not nearly as fast as Comcast, but I'm paying under $35 per month.   When my year is up at that price, I'll just call again when they bump it up to the normal price and threaten to switch to Comcast.  Get much faster internet for not much more money at the normal U-Verse price.  That's a $135 a month savings.  or over $1600 per year staying in my Pocket.

     

    Think about how much you pay for this crap.  I hated that Comcast bill every month.  It was just me at the time.  1 TV.  I could never watch enough TV or use the Internet enough to justify the costs.  I had it.   $170 x 12 months is  $2040 Per year.  In 10 years if prices didn't go up, that's $20,400.  Being Comcast, prices seem to go up a couple times a year unlike my paycheck.

     

    There's this thing called the Internet where you can watch anything you want for FREE or PAY Legally for.  I put up a Antenna.  Record all my programs and have Full DVR control.  I can start watching content in the Family Room and finish in the Bedroom.  I get most of my TV that way.  Add in a AppleTV and/or a ROKU Box and you have all kinds of access to content.  I have more to watch now then ever more and no time to catch up.    I've gotten season passes for a few shows I miss like "The Walking Dead" on AMC from Amazon, and when a New episode Airs Sunday Night, I can watch it Monday night.  No waiting for the season to be over with first.

     

    This is yet another RUMOR.  If true great for HBO GO if yo want to pay it.  I Hope Apple does some type of SlingTV type service.  For $20, it's not a terrible deal.  Mainly because of ESPN and TBS for baseball if you're a huge sports person.  I'm not.  But If Apple can work out something like that, but not package deal. Pick what channels a person wants, no more, no less, now that would be something.   Being Cable cutters, we don't want to be forced into some channel bundle and zero choices.

     

    I wouldn't be surprised if HBO wanted $20 a month for their service unbundled form Cable.   If you only really watch one or two programs from them, it may make better sense to not get the service and instead just buy the season on Disc.  It would still be new for you no matter how later you watched them.  But you could watch at your own pace when you wanted.  Save some money.   A couple season passes would be cheaper then paying HBO every month for the year.  HBO is only worth it if you have it on ALL THE TIME!  The problem on Cable is you're paying for all those other channels just to get HBO that you have on all the time!!!

  • Reply 16 of 28
    It's no secret that Comcast is the most hated company on the planet so I'm all for something that allows for peeps to cut the cable. $15 does seem high though, isn't Netflix only $8? I don't know what that MLB Advanced Media thing is either, is that supposed to be a package for all MLB games? Comcast has a package like that but it seems to me that peeps only want to sit through the 5 minutes of action that is surrounded by 2 hours of boredom of their favorite team.
  • Reply 17 of 28
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,836member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chippy55 View Post



    It's no secret that Comcast is the most hated company on the planet so I'm all for something that allows for peeps to cut the cable. $15 does seem high though, isn't Netflix only $8? I don't know what that MLB Advanced Media thing is either, is that supposed to be a package for all MLB games? Comcast has a package like that but it seems to me that peeps only want to sit through the 5 minutes of action that is surrounded by 2 hours of boredom of their favorite team.

     

    Not even close...they're number 8:  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-05/america-s-most-loved-and-most-hated-companies

  • Reply 18 of 28
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    I wouldn't pay $15 a month. If all these channels are going to add up to what my cable bill is, then there's no point in this business model.
  • Reply 19 of 28
    krreagankrreagan Posts: 218member

    This is the trickle that leads to the avalanche... First ESPN on Sling (I can finally watch MNF again in the fall) and now HBO! And Amazon and Netflix producing their own content... This is the beginning of the end for cable companies... In the future they will be known only as ISP's with their hands tied behind their backs... They will go kicking and screaming, but they _will_ go.

  • Reply 20 of 28
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cali View Post



    "And will be available tomorrow."



    *cheers*

     

    ...And one more thing...

     

    ...Free to everyone on iTunes Match!!

     

    *pandamonia*

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