HBO Now ‘Flexible’ About Adding Content, Says No to Binge Watching
Though HBO hasn’t given any subscription data on its still fresh standalone SVOD service, the company’s CEO, Richard Plepler, described it as “out of the gate fast” on a call with analysts today following Time Warner’s Q1 earnings report.
HBO Now debuted on Apple TV, iOS, and Cablevision’s Optimum service on April 7. Available for $14.99 a month, it thus far offers original shows and films from HBO along with other movie content, but Plepler said the company’s “flexible” about bringing in content from Warner Bros. and Turner, as well.
Of course, Plepler and Time Warner’s CEO Jeff Bewkes had to address the most controversial issues surrounding HBO Now — its effect on cable networks and its “rivalry” with Netflix.
In regards to the former, Plepler framed HBO’s standalone streaming service as more of an addition to cable offerings than a detraction. For cable companies worried that viewers will opt out since they can get their beloved HBO all by itself (or that other networks will follow HBO’s lead in going rogue online), Plepler basically said, “Don’t be.”
When it comes to Netflix, a big factor that distinguishes the streaming giant from HBO (besides that it’s global and didn’t grow out of a cable network) is binge watching. HBO Now isn’t interested in the model, opting to follow its linear TV channel with the classic (and arguably much healthier) episodic release.