That’s at least a little impressive, isn’t it?
It tuns out that people will pay for good content. That’s one of the lessons to be learned from the success of HBO Now, HBO’s paid streaming service tailored to complete with Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. In fact, people will pay for good content at a bit of a premium. As long as that good content still includes Game of Thrones, that is.
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Speaking with investors earlier today, head of Time Warner Jeff Bewkes broke the news that HBO Now has gained over 2 million users since launching in 2015. The standalone streaming service is targeted at cord cutters and people who don’t have a standard HBO subscription – especially since HBO Go is included for free with the cable subscription. For what it’s worth, HBO Now costs $14.99 a month, higher than both Netflix and Hulu.
It goes without saying that those numbers are buoyed by Game of Thrones, and now Westworld. It’s big fish like those shows that is going to drive people to pay a premium for a streaming network, but that’s not going to last forever. Game of Thrones only has two seasons left, and there is still a question whether or not Westworld will be able to take the mantle. Having over 2 million users is nice, but HBO is going to need to continually find ways to keep that number up.
Part of that plan could include Jon Stewart’s new show, which has yet to materialize. Still, it’s difficult to argue that HBO Now isn’t in a good place right now. HBO’s CEO, Richard Plepler, also added that it’s not just the big shows carrying the service:
“Usage is going across a wide range of categories — it’s not just ‘Westworld’ and ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘The Night Of…We’re in the business of curating great content.”
That’s likely technically correct, but we’d bet good money that Westworld and Game of Thrones remain huge drivers of traffic. You can read all of the remarks over at Variety