HBO wants to compete with Netflix in a lot of ways, but one of those ways probably won’t be pricing. The Information’s sources claim that HBO will charge at least $15 per month for its standalone streaming service, which will match what subscribers pay per month to get HBO as part of their cable bundles.
The Information notes that this price would be “$6 more than the price of Netflix’s most popular plan and a price that will likely drastically limit demand for the new service.” However, there’s reason to believe that such a price won’t “doom” HBO’s streaming service as The Information suggests.
If someone is already willing to pay $15 per month for HBO as part of their cable bundle, then there’s no reason that they wouldn’t shell out that money instead for a monthly streaming service — especially if it allowed them to dump all of the other cable channels they’re now paying for that they have no interest in watching anyway.
And while Netflix certainly does offer quality programming of its own — House of Cards and Orange is the New Black are two of the best new series we’ve seen in the past two years — it still doesn’t have the huge arsenal of high-quality content that HBO produces now or has produced in the past. Indeed, for some viewers both True Detective and Game of Thrones alone might be worth $15 per month. If you add in unlimited access to classics like The Sopranos, The Wire, Six Feet Under and more, you start to see how $15 per month might not seem like a bad deal to HBO addicts.