HBO Launching Stand-Alone Streaming Service, Will Netflix Suffer?
Up until now HBO has been a rather locked off service. Confusing to the masses the service has previously been exclusive to select cable packages and even then it’s still not easy to a hold of the service. That’s until HBO Go was announced. It’s a well known fact that cable television is bleeding as hordes of households cut the cord and in turn, saving tons of cash, getting better quality content and most importantly, having more choice.
With Netflix leading the charge on this revolution others are having to play catchup with Amazon Prime shifting their direction to a more streaming orientated business and well as Hulu being launched by the big players in the cable world to try and claw back lost revenue from cable cutters. HBO has always been a bit backwards in this respect but in 2015 that all looks to change as they adopt a more streaming based approach which comes separated from an expensive cable package.
So what we’re looking for is whether this new service will actually have a direct effect on Netflix other than in the share prices. It’s well known and even admitted by CEO of Netflix Reed Hastings that HBO still has the upper hand when it comes to quality titles and he’s right. With titles such as Game of Thrones, Broadwalk Empire and an incredible backlog including The Wire and The Sopranos it’s hard to argue with him. Netflix has made significant strides in this field but ultimately HBO will have the upper hand when it comes to must see television that’s not available anywhere else.
HBO also looks to be launching with an impressive movie catalog with a big emphasis on recent box office hits including Gravity, Divergent and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
In quantity of titles however Netflix will be the clear cut winner whether or not you see it as an advantage or not. 2000 titles are expected to launch along with HBO Go. That’s compared with the other 10,000 titles that are streaming on Netflix in the US.
Now’s the bit that’s going to sting the customers and it’s not the price surprisingly. Netflix has always had an advantage purely on how many devices its service is available on. Whether you have a smart TV, tablet, games console and heck, even the raspberry pi. What HBO has decided to do is partner up exclusively with Apple limiting their audience to those who own iPhones, iPads and Apple TV. Admittedly that’s a large audience but one that will cut off a lot of customers from the service. While it’s a ‘launch’ exclusive to Apple it certainly rubs many the wrong way. The only advantage to this is the price drop Apple TV is set to have bringing it more in line with the Amazon Fire TV device.
The price of the service isn’t set to compete with Netflix either. Launching with a price tag of $14.99 a month it prices itself at just under double of what Netflix does. However with such an emphasis on quality on quantity we expect this won’t put many people off especially given that it’s launching with a months free trial.
So we’re not sure what to think. We’re certainly glad, as cable cutters, that we can no have access to HBO but unsure what effects it’ll have on Netflix, if any. What do you think? Is there room for another streaming service in your life?