Apple caught us by surprise last month when it announced an exclusive launch partnership for HBO Now. We’re still waiting for the streaming service’s official launch, but now we know how the two companies ended up working together.
Speaking to CNBC, HBO’s CEO Richard Plepler explained that the decision came down to simple numbers. It turns out that 60 percent of the streaming on HBO GO (it’s current cable-based app) occurs on Apple devices. That includes iPhones, iPads, Macs and the Apple TV. As a result, the Cupertino company was an obvious launch partner for HBO Now.
Plepler added that HBO Now isn’t designed to replace the company’s current cable businesses. Instead, the goal is to remain as flexible as possible while appealing to the widest possible audience. Specifically, he called the new product a “millennial missile,” suggesting the key audience is 20-year olds with some disposable income.
The new service is set to launch next month just in time for the Game of Thrones season 5 premiere on April 12, and will be available exclusively on Apple devices for the first three months before it’s released to other platforms. HBO Now is priced at $14.99 per month, which is pretty expensive compared to Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime. You’ll also have to sign up through a cable provider, rather than directly with HBO.