“This is huge.” Eddy Cue is right. The death of the TV bundle is near.

TV insiders have always felt that HBO was one of the most important elements for holding the bundle together. Last fall, in a watershed announcement, HBO announced it would offer a direct to consumer OTT service. But there wasn’t much to comment about – since no details were released. Well, now we have commercial terms – and I’ve got a few words to say. This is HUGE. Eddy Cue may be right. Why? Three reasons.

1. Apple seems to have a full blown commitment to doing this right – no brand confusion around pricing or catalog – a no hassle sign-up – and of course – that beautiful Apple usability. It’s one thing when an average innovator like Dish tries to roll out a poorly conceived SlingTV offer. It’s quite another when you have the greatest innovator on the planet coming after you with all guns blazing. From the press release:

‘HBO_Now’_To_Launch_Exclusively_On_Apple_Devices___Multichannel

2. This is war. Take a look at this – I found this Google Ad and had to screen cap it. It actually literally says “No cable required.” I am so happy I caught this – I’m a serious journalist now! I’m going to get out my popcorn and watch what’s next. The pay TV bundle is about to crack.

hbo_now_-_Google_Search

3. Wow – this is some flimsy spin. I caught a story on the LATimes by @Mediaredef – here’s what is reported as to how the offer protects the existing 33 million HBO customers that pay $15/month through their pay TV operator.

HBO_Now_stand-alone_service_shakes_up_TV_industry_-_LA_Times 2

So – if you are completely satisfied with your cable TV provider – you will not save any money by accessing HBO via Apple TV. OK, that’s nice.

But if you’re an operator, you don’t need financial incentives protected – you need exclusivity over the content. And you need that because you don’t have a good user experience – let alone the insanely great one that is surely to be available April 12.

To me, this is a clear message to pay TV operators from content suppliers. “By the way, we subscribe to your service at home to watch the shows that we make. And we don’t like your service. The box is ancient. It’s impossible to find and share our shows. We make investments in great TV and you bury the files in tiny alphabetical folders.”

Will this service make Steve Jobs proud? Certainly sounds like it.

About RingDigital.tv

Expert in video tech, TV biz, prototyping, product strategy, marketing & sales.

2 Responses to ““This is huge.” Eddy Cue is right. The death of the TV bundle is near.”

  1. Who thinks this deal will result in a spike in cord-cutting?

  2. UPDATE: I missed this – thx to Janko Roettgers – HBO Now will not include Live streams – thus it is critical to know when a new episode of John Oliver will be available on the service. During first airing? Immediately after? 1 hour after? Does anyone know?

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