Would you subscribe to HBO Now for one year at $100? That’s what HBO wants to know as it weighs different options for the premium network’s new over-the-top streaming service.
The service, which gives subscribers on-demand access to HBO’s movies and original programming, launched in April at $15/month — a significantly higher price point than Netflix ($9/month for new subscribers), Amazon Prime ($99/year), and Hulu ($8/month). HBO is now asking customers who chose not to sign up for HBO Now after its free trial period ended if they would be interested in subscribing at lower prices — for “one-time only.”
The question is part of an online customer satisfaction survey. Entertainment blog CutCableToday explained that when the respondent cited that price was an issue, the survey presented them with a list of hypothetical offers (below).
The deals, should they be introduced, could create serious problems for both traditional pay-TV providers, and streaming services alike. The reduced price would mean that HBO Now subscribers would likely be paying less than traditional cable subscribers who add the premium network, which normally costs somewhere between $15-20 per month to add to a core channel pack. A reduced price for the stand alone service could potentially convince some of those cable subscribers to cut the cord, and switch to HBO Now to cut costs.
The lower price could also make HBO Now an even bigger threat to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and other services, potentially convincing some users to drop one or more of the streaming platforms in exchange for the premium network’s coveted collection of hit series and movies. HBO Now’s relatively high price has been among the biggest complaints from cord cutters looking to potentially add the service to their a la carte streaming packages.
Consumers shouldn’t get too excited yet, though. The customer satisfaction survey is just that: a survey. When TechCrunch asked an HBO rep about it, the company said that the survey questions “should never be interpreted as suggesting a strategic direction.”