Game of Thrones without a cable subscription? If you’re not salivating at that idea, chances are your kid or someone you know is. With the cost of cable TV including HBO now well over $100 per month, folks are looking for alternatives. How great would it be if you could get your fix for $15 a month or even less? sure, buying episodes on iTunes, Google Play or that sort of app store is a good start, but HBO GO is already out there for people who have HBO at home… how long before you can get it as a standalone service?
Digital Trends reports that HBO could literally move that direction instantly if it wanted to. They apparently have all the infrastructure ready and could launch HBO GO as a standalone service at any time. This is a smart move for the company, which has in recent years moved from being a source for first-run movies to a producer of top-quality exclusive entertainment. HBO GO, just by itself, would satisfy the binge-watching needs of most folks and to be honest they’d hardly miss the “regular” HBO channels since all the content is available for instant streaming. It would be an instant hit, as long as the price was right.
What’s the right price? Netflix delivers far more titles for under $10 a month but HBO has more new exclusives. Most likely $10 a month would probably be about right for HBO GO, completing the cord-cutter trifecta that would give access to thousands of catalog titles (through Netflix), new exclusives (HBO GO) and broadcast TV (Hulu Plus) for under $30 a month. There are few programs that wouldn’t be available with those three services in tow. Not only that, all those services let you suspend services, so when broadcast TV hits a lull you can save money, or if you’re only interested in one HBO program you can save that way too.
We predict that when and if HBO does make this move, it will incredibly disruptive and could finally start to create some real price pressure on cable and satellite providers. Unfortunately this also means price pressure on HBO itself, as it will be pressured to cut prices on its broadcast services, so as long as they’re raking it in on cable and satellite, don’t expect this move to happen. As soon as they figure they can make more money with streaming, it’ll happen instantly.