Reed Hastings must be bubbling below the surface.
I would be.
The Netflix CEO has a reason to celebrate. His long touted rival, HBO, has steered course, becoming an emulator of Netflix rather than the trendsetter it had once been with its new app, HBO NOW.
If you haven’t heard about it, HBO NOW is a platform that allows users to subscribe to HBO for a monthly charge of $15. If you have an Apple TV, tablet, PC or smart phone, you can access the app at any time – without having to include it as part of your television package.
All things aside, it’s a nice deal for anyone seeking to cut the television cord and go all in with Internet TV.
Yet, it’s this same reason why Hastings should be feeling great: Netflix is top dog.
Is HBO NOW worth the cost?
Part of the reason why viewers are leaving cable companies is because of cost and lack of control. HBO NOW is another cost, one that’s $5 more than Netflix. The app lacks the plethora of films that Netflix has, leaving viewers with a little less choice than they probably would want.
HBO has a litany of incredible, binge-worthy series. Some of the best, in fact. But I wonder, after initial signees have completed their 30-day trial of HBO NOW, after they plowed through every series they had been wanting to for years, if they will find it necessary to keep up with the subscription. I’m not too certain they will even as new episodes of “Game of Thrones” arrives.
“Many people will subscribe to both Netflix and HBO,” said Hastings. “Since we have different shows, we think it is likely we both prosper as consumers move to Internet TV.”
I think Hastings is playing coy. He’s in good shape because if it comes down between choosing between HBO NOW and Netflix (for those really wanting to lighten the load of their TV bill), my money would be on Netflix.