HBO to Launch Stand-Alone Streaming Service
By Joe Flint And Keach Hagey for The Wall Street Journal
HBO is finally giving the cord-cutters what they want.
Speaking at Time Warner Inc. ’s investor day meeting on Wednesday, Richard Plepler, the chief executive of HBO, announced that the pay-TV channel would launch a stand-alone, online streaming version of its service next year.
The new service, an expansion of the pay-TV channel’s popular HBO Go streaming platform available to pay-TV subscribers, will be primarily targeted at the 10 million people in the U.S. who don’t currently have a cable or satellite-TV subscription.
“That is a large and growing opportunity that should no longer be left untapped,” Mr. Plepler told investors.
Consumers have been pushing for HBO to offer its network on the Internet for years and the success of Netflix has put additional pressure on HBO to go over-the-top.
But HBO has been reluctant to pursue that strategy out of fears it would rock the boat with its traditional distributors—cable and satellite providers.
An online-only version of the channel could translate to hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for HBO, Mr. Plepler said.