HBO has made its expectations for its upcoming streaming service a bit more clear. In a quarterly earnings call for parent company Time Warner, HBO CEO Richard Plepler said that the premium cable network is looking to pull in between 4 and 5 million new customers who don’t currently subscribe to cable with its new online-only offering. In October Plepler estimated that there are 10 million broadband-only households in the U.S., a cohort he called “low-hanging fruit” that could easily be persuaded to buy HBO.
By allowing people who don’t pay for cable to access its content, HBO is engaging in a high wire act that has never been attempted before in the pay-TV industry. The company wants cord-cutters to buy its service, but it doesn’t want the people who already pay for cable to dump their subscriptions in favor of an HBO-only product. That would upset the pay-TV distributors, who currently handle customer service for HBO and often lower the subscription cost to entice new subscribers.
Read More