Here’s how HBO plans to compete with its greatest nemesis: Netflix
The battle for title of Best Streaming Service rages on, and apparently HBO is lagging so far behind, it plans to essentially (try to) copy Netflix’s business model. According to Business Insider, HBO will try to ramp up its own Internet-only subscription streaming service, HBO Now (not to be confused with HBO Go, which you get part of your HBO cable subscription) in the coming months. Specifically, it wants viewers to take HBO Now with them wherever they go, whether it be on their TVs, laptops, tablets, or mobile phones.
HBO also plans to introduce more original content (much like Netflix, which announced it’s premiering nearly 10 original series in 2016 alone) and branch out internationally.
HBO has faced some trouble in its quest to copy Netflix, though. As of February 2016, HBO Now has brought in just 800,000 paying subscribers, far below industry analysts’ expectations of 1 million to 2 million.
Still, Richard Plepler, CEO of HBO, is optimistic, telling Business Insider he believes HBO Now is “just getting started.”
It’s hard to say whether HBO’s streaming woes are surprising or not. HBO is well-known for putting out premium original content, but can its streaming service ever really be a legitimate threat to Netflix? It’s doubtful — while there’s content HBO Now offers that Netflix will never get its hands on (specifically HBO original series), Netflix is able to cast a much wider net in terms of where its non-original content is coming from.
Plus, at $14.99 a month, HBO Now is more expensive than even the priciest streaming plan at Netflix (which rings up at $11.99). While there are surely plenty of TV and movie lovers out there more than happy to pay for both HBO Now and Netflix (and Hulu and Amazon Prime), plenty more know that Netflix currently offers more bang for its buck. (Right now there are thousands of titles to watch on Netflix and just over 900 on HBO Now.)
We’re sure HBO Now won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, but maybe for the time being it should try to focus less on outright competing with Netflix and more on finding its own niche.