HBO Now will cost US$15 per month, and the first month will be free who those who sign up. The service will launch in early April, in time for the debut of the new season of Game of Thrones that will debut in the middle of the month.
“This is a transformative moment for HBO, and we are very excited to launch HBO for you today,” said Richard Plepler, the chairman and chief executive of HBO, at what was expected to be the launch of the Apple Watch at an event in San Francisco on Tuesday morning.
The service will ship with the Apple TV, which Apple has traditionally referred to as a “hobby”. When Apple TV debuted, the price was competitive with other products from Roku and others. Since then, however, devices like the Google Chromecast have dramatically lowered the price. In response, Apple lowered the price of the Apple TV from US$99 to US$69, Apple chief executive Tim Cook said. That’s still far from the price of the US$35 Google Chromecast, but more consistent with the US$70 that Roku charges for the last-generation Roku 2.
Why this matters: The world has been waiting for a standalone HBO service for years, especially as cord cutters look to free themselves from pay TV services such as Comcast, Dish Network, and DirecTV.