The Current State of HBO Now


HBO Now is trying to further differentiate itself by offering exclusive clips. It is enough?

The current state of HBO can be a confusing beast. Regular subscribers have access to HBO Go for free, a streaming service that mirror’s currently airing content while offering catalogue shows. HBO Now, a stand-alone streaming option, has been trying to attract viewers by offering exclusive content.

HBO Now has to offer something the standard service doesn’t while not alienating those subscribers. That means that the exclusive content usually put up one HBO Now doesn’t amount to much more than bonus clips, like what HBO has been doing with Veep.

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These deleted scenes tend to get added to HBO Go on a delay — just watch an old episode of Veep and see that deleted scene tacked on at the end. HBO’s animated comedy, Animals, had episodes debuting on HBO Now before they aired on television. Most of this has been harmless stuff. Little bonuses here and there, but not enough to actually attract new subscribers and certainly not enough or normal cable viewers to get upset about.

The real balancing act will take place when Jon Stewart’s project launches. Not much is currently known about it, but it is said to have a heavy streaming component. As of February, HBO had over 800,000 subscribers. In the world of streaming, that’s not great. As another arm of HBO, however, those numbers are perfectly fine.

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HBO Now doesn’t have to compete with Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. In fact, since it’s so tied in with  normal HBO programming, it can’t. It has to constantly walk a very fine line, and that’s not going to pull in a ton of viewers. Combined with their entire service line, HBO Now is not unlike the deleted scenes it hosts. A nice bonus to have.