Citizen journalists are not the only threat to the television industry. The rise of successful streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon are changing the way in how millions tune in to their favorite programming. And now, it’s HBO who is taking the next step and shaking things up.
On Monday, HBO announced that they are introducing a stand-alone service called HBO Now. It’s a $14.99 monthly service that will be available on all Apple devices. What makes this move so huge is that this is the first time the premium cable service will be directly offered to customers.
HBO has certainly gained popularity in recent years, with shows including “Games of Thrones”, “Girls,” and “True Detective”. Right now, viewers are only able to access these shows by signing up for a pay-tv bundle that is usually well over $100 a month. But all of this will soon change when the cable service will be a click away on your computer or smartphone.
Many people pay for these monthly package bundles because it’s the only way they can watch these shows. In fact, they usually end up dishing over cash for channels they may not even watch. But with this new announcement, the cable industry could take a huge hit.
Monday’s deal gives Apple a three-month period to exclusively offer HBO Now on its iPhones, iPads or Apple TVs. After that, HBO is expected to offer the service to users of a wide range of media devices. With Apple teaming up with HBO, the competition intensifies with other streaming services, such as Google’s Chromecast, Amazon’s Fire TV and Roku.
This is certainly a win-win move for both Apple and HBO. But for cable companies, the era of cord cutting is beginning to become a reality. According to a recent study, only 2.9% of cable users said they are likely to get rid of their service this year. But 49% of cable users ages 25 to 34 said they are likely to get rid of cable.
So what do you guys think? Would you be willing to ditch your monthly cable service and opt for online streaming? Or can cable television still survive even with these emerging online options? Share your thoughts!