After nearly a year, HBO Now has yet to reach 1 million subscribers

hbo go 800k subscribers now lg
Thanks to a steady increase in the quality of streaming platforms and the quality of the content available, streaming as an alternative to cable TV is definitely growing, but it might not be growing as fast as some thought.

In Time Warner’s earnings call yesterday, HBO CEO Richard Plepler first said that the company had a “terrific year” and point to subscriber growth of 2.7 million new customers, a number that included HBO Now. He then went on to say that the cable-free streaming service currently has 800,000 paying subscribers, less than the 1 million some analysts had estimated.

Plepler was quick to say that this number was only the beginning. “We’re not yet out on two major platforms, PlayStation and Xbox,” Plepler said, adding that these platforms account for 20 percent of its viewer numbers on HBO Go, the company’s other streaming service, which does require a cable subscription to use.

The CEO added that the company hadn’t yet added content that it thinks “particularly suited for those platforms.” Plepler pointed to upcoming content from Vice, Jon Stewart, and ex-ESPN commentator Bill Simmons.

HBO Now is currently available on the Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick in terms of streaming boxes, as well as iOS and Android devices, Fire tablets, and the Web. That’s a fair amount of platforms, but support has been added slowly since the service’s launch in April of last year, which could have some part in its relatively slow adoption. It’s also worth pointing out that HBO is available to cord-cutters via Sling TV, which HBO doesn’t count in its HBO Now subscriber numbers.

While HBO Now launched just in time for season five of Game of Thrones, the service was exclusive to Apple TV and iOS at the time. That, combined with its unproven nature, might have led potential customers to be wary.

Considering that Game of Thrones has been the most pirated show on television, it’s easy to assume that many of its viewers don’t want to watch via cable subscription. With HBO Now more widely available, the series sixth season premiere on April 24 might see a sudden jump in subscribers.

Home Theater

Amazon’s updated base model Fire TV stick now comes with an Alexa remote

If you're looking to take your older TV into the streaming era, Amazon's most basic Fire TV Stick model just got more compelling than ever: Buyers can now get a free Alexa voice remote with their Fire TV Stick purchase.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Movies & TV

‘Sopranos’ prequel ‘The Many Saints of Newark’ adds ‘The Punisher’ star

The upcoming movie The Many Saints of Newark, based on HBO's hit series The Sopranos, will serve as a prequel to the show. It will focus on Tony Soprano as a boy, as well as the race riots that rocked Newark in 1967.
Movies & TV

Colder and bloodier, Game of Thrones season 8 has a premiere date

A new teaser trailer for season 8 of HBO's hit series Game of Thrones reveals the official premiere date for the final story arc in the award-winning series based on George RR Martin's popular novels.
Home Theater

QLED and OLED may have similar names, but they're totally different technologies

The names may look almost identical, but OLED and QLED are two entirely different beasts. In our QLED vs. OLED battle, we dissect the differences between these dueling TV technologies, and help determine which might be best for you.
Home Theater

Banish the bunny ears (and monthly bills) with these excellent HD antennas

When transitioning away from cable and satellite, finding the best HDTV antenna for your area can be touch. To help, we've compiled our picks of the best indoor HDTV antennas you can buy.
Home Theater

Leave the charger behind: Wireless headphones will get epic battery life in 2019

From wireless in-ears to noise-canceling over-ears, virtually every headphone manufacturer has seriously improved wireless headphone battery capacity, making fears about charging up for long listening sessions a thing of the past.
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.
Computing

Don't spend hundreds on Pro Tools or Logic. Try one of these free alternatives

Believe it or not, Pro Tools isn't the only digital audio workstation worth your time. Check out our picks for the best free recording software, whether you're looking for a lightweight app or a full-blown audio workstation.
Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Home Theater

Roku adds automatic sign-out mode, for those with regular houseguests

Being able to use a Roku device while staying at a hotel or Airbnb is awesome. What is less awesome is leaving yourself signed in after you leave. With a new automatic sign-out feature, Roku is making it easier to relax.
Home Theater

Wireless headphones are finally awesome, and these are our favorites

With sleek form factors, prime audio quality, and the freedom of untethered listening, there has never been a better time to pick up a pair of wireless headphones. These are the best ones currently available.
Home Theater

These awesome A/V receivers will swarm you with surround sound at any budget

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to shopping for a receiver, so we assembled our favorites for 2018, at multiple price points and all loaded with features, from Dolby Atmos to 4K HDR, and much more.
Apple

Apple may be developing a new iPod Touch to woo younger users

Apple may be developing its first new iPod touch model since 2015 as it aims to capture younger users who are not yet ready for their own smartphone, and expand its overall listening base in the future.