Cord-cutters, Rejoice: HBO Will Offer Web Subscription Next Year

HBO will offer a web-only subscription option in 2015.


Hooray! Cord-cutters everywhere are celebrating the news that HBO plans to offer web-only subscriptions starting in 2015. Richard Plepler, CEO of HBO, announced the plan during an investor meeting today. “It is time to remove all barriers to those who want HBO,” he said. However, Plepler did not go into detail about what the subscription would offer.

Recode’s Peter Kafka writes that Time Warner is ready to upset the pay-TV structure, even at the risk of upsetting cable companies, especially since Netflix is increasingly a potent competitor.

How upset cable companies will be depends on the details of the subscription. Kafka reports that the company may consider “a ‘windowed’ version of its TV service on the Web, where shows like True Detective and Game of Thrones don’t appear until months after they debut on TV.”

Having a web-only option will help the channel with online-TV watchers, who cite flexibility as the main reason for watching original series online. Internet users are becoming more accustomed to watching what they want, when they want it; HBO is finally adapting to this reality.

Bloomberg reports that a standalone HBO service in Scandinavia and Finland has racked up 380,000 subscribers as of July. That service costs €10 a month.

At the time of this writing, Time Warner shares were up 2.48 percent. Netflix shares were down 2.34 percent, despite the news that the streaming service will offer every episode of Friends.

Publish date: October 15, 2014 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT