After declaring a stand-alone, OTT version of his premium cable service as a "tide that has to turn" last October, Starz CEO Chris Albrecht told investors today he hasn't decided when the company will actually launch a direct-to-consumer product.
Verizon Wireless said that its subscribers will be able to access HBO Now, the offering from the premium TV network that lets customers access its content without a TV subscription. Verizon also said that HBO content, though not necessarily HBO Now, will be part of its over-the-the-top mobile video service, which is continuing to get fleshed out.
HBO's standalone over-the-top SVOD service, HBO Now, continues to expand beyond its initial Apple TV boundaries. The provider announced that Verizon broadband customers, including both FiOS and high-speed Internet customers, now can sign up for the service. HBO Now is also giving new customers from Verizon a free 30-day trial.
Verizon has joined Cablevision as the second pay-TV operator to offer HBO Now without requiring a pay-TV service.
Despite a flurry of new streaming video choices, the number of U.S. and Canadian consumers who identify themselves as regular users of over-the-top content actually declined 2 percent over the last year, according to Arris' latest Consumer Entertainment Index report.
HBO Now has finally expanded beyond the Apple device universe, with the platform launching apps for Android mobile devices and Amazon Fire tablets.
Comcast is planning to launch a $15-a-month OTT pay-TV service that blends streaming of the major broadcast networks and HBO, as well as access to the MSO's cloud DVR service and thousands of on-demand programs. However, the offering contains no major cable networks.
The second half of 2015 is bringing a flurry of announcements as over-the-top video providers--both new to the segment and established alike--put into motion strategies to improve their competitive edge. That includes Showtime, which, like HBO before it, launched its new standalone OTT service, Showtime Anytime, on July 7--five days ahead of its original launch date.
Showtime has debuted its standalone OTT service, eponymously named Showtime, a few days early of its previously stated July 12 target launch date.
Launched just two months ago, HBO's standalone streaming service may have already amassed as many as 1 million subscribers, according to BTIG media analyst Richard Greenfield.