Cord-cutters have pushed networks to embrace online streaming and many of them have either linked up with existing services or launched their own standalone services. HBO launched its own service called HBO Now last year. For $14.99 it provides subscribers with access to streaming of the linear channel as well as the library of content. The company has revealed that HBO Now has close to a million subscribers almost ten months after it was first launched.
HBO CEO Richard Plepler revealed during the company’s earnings call today that HBO Now has “800,000” paying subscribers. That’s good progress for a service that costs $14.99 and was initially exclusive to just one platform before being expanded to others a few months down the line.
To us this might look like good performance but investors don’t appear to be impressive. They expected HBO Now’s subscriber base to be close to 2 million but obviously that’s not the case. HBO also sells subscriptions over cable and in the last quarter it added 2.7 million new subscribers combined.
Plepler says that HBO isn’t discouraged by this performance, adding that “we’re just getting started,” while pointing out some of the reasons why HBO Now hasn’t grown at the pace that investors wanted it to. The service isn’t available on any gaming console right now and HBO hasn’t launched new content aimed squarely at Now subscribers. That will happen in the future and perhaps the increase in subscriptions will truly reflect investors’ wishes.