According to a report from the International Business Times, Apple and HBO are in talks over a partnership that would see its upcoming web-only standalone subscription package launch on the Apple TV.
Apple could potentially become one of HBO’s exclusive launch partners for its subscription streaming service, which may be called “HBO Now.” The service, which is aimed at cord cutters, will allow subscribers to access HBO content without the need for a cable subscription.
The report notes that HBO’s web-only service will launch in April alongside the new season of Game of Thrones, which airs on April 12. The service will reportedly cost $15 per month, which is roughly the same price as subscribing to HBO through a cable company.
The partnership with Apple would give users access to the service from their Apple TV, much like the company’s existing HBO GO service. However, HBO GO requires that users have an existing HBO subscription with their cable providers.
The introduction of HBO’s new service will be a major step forward for cord cutters, and it could encourage other content providers to introduce similar offerings. Over the years we have seen that content providers are reluctant to shift away from traditional cable pricing models, which has been one of the major factors that prevented Apple from establishing these types of deals earlier.
At initial launch, the service will likely be restricted to users in the United States. If HBO can prove that their new model works, there will be a higher chance for an international release. In Canada, HBO’s rights are owned by Bell Media and Corus Entertainment.