HBO CEO Richard Plepler said today that the company’s 10-month-old standalone streaming service, HBO Now, boasts 800,000 subscribers.
That figure falls short of expectations by Wall Street analysts, who had pegged estimated growth at between 1 and 2 million total subscribers, according to the New York Post.
HBO Now differs from HBO’s other streaming option, HBO Go, in that viewers pay a $14.99 per month fee, but don’t need a cable subscription. HBO Go, on the other hand, enables existing HBO subscribers to stream video on demand.
Plepler said that HBO Now was “just getting started” on an earnings call earlier today. “We’re not yet out on two major platforms, PlayStation and Xbox,” he said, noting that those platforms account for 20 percent of viewing on HBO Go. “And we’ve not yet put out the content like Jon Stewart, Bill Simmons [and the] Vice daily news show, that we think is particularly suited for those platforms.”
Other reasons for slower-than-expected growth could include HBO Now’s relatively hefty price tag (Netflix’s standard plan, for instance, starts at $9.99), as well as the fact that for the first three months, HBO Now was exclusively available via Apple TV. An additional holdup may be that potential subscribers are waiting to pull the trigger until the next season premiere of Game of Thrones, which is slated for April.
For comparison’s sake, streaming leader Netflix boasts 75 million users worldwide, though HBO, at last count, had a global base of 138 million total subscribers.