HBO has announced a “transformative” move that will see the pay-cable programmer roll out a stand-alone over-the-top streaming service in 2015, Variety reports. HBO chief Richard Plepler confirmed the plans today.
In a presentation at Time Warner’s Investor Day conference, Plepler said: “This will be transformative for our company. … It is time to remove all barriers to those who want HBO.”
The announcement did not offer much in the way of details, but Plepler said HBO plans to “work with current partners and explore models with new partners.”
“Plepler emphasized that the company’s experience with the HBO Go authenticated service and its fast uptake among millennial viewers has encouraged them to take the groundbreaking step of offering the HBO cluster as a stand-alone service,” Variety reports.
Plepler also said: “We will go beyond the wall and launch a stand-alone over-the-top service with the potential to produce hundred of millions of dollars in revenue. The international revenue possibilities could be just as large if not larger (with OTT). We have a huge opportunity in front of us. We will use all means at our disposal to go after it.”
The report notes that recent subscriber growth by online streamer Netflix played a part in prompting HBO to break with its tradition of offering its programming only as part of a larger package.
“HBO’s move also comes at a time when there are numerous startup ventures aimed at offering cable-like channel packages via the Internet,” the report adds. “Sony Corp. is in talks with major programmers for such a service — it already has cut a deal with Viacom for a clutch of channels. Satcaster Dish Network is assembling an OTT offering, as is Verizon.”