Apple first to offer HBO's standalone online service

For $14.99 a month, Apple users will be able to tap into HBO Now, the cable channel's new standalone service.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

HBO Now makes its debut as part of Apple's lineup, starting in April. HBO

Apple users will get first crack at HBO Now, a standalone online service from HBO that doesn't force you to subscribe to an entire lineup of cable channels.

Starting in April, iPhone, iPad and Apple TV owners will be able to subscribe to HBO Now to the tune of $14.99 per month. That means Apple users will be able to watch all HBO content past, present and future.

Watch this: HBO announces exclusive partnership with Apple devices

Courtesy of the new deal, Apple becomes the exclusive partner of HBO Now for the first three months as the standalone service launches.

"We loved HBO," Tim Cook said at Apple's "Spring Forward" event Monday. "Over the years they have created groundbreaking shows, really become a part of our culture and shaped our culture."

When HBO Now launches next month, users will be able to subscribe using the HBO Now app on their iOS device or Apple TV and then pay for the $14.99-a-month service in-app. The subscription is paid for on a monthly basis, with no long-term contract. After registering, subscribers will also be able to watch the shows and movies on any Internet-connected computer via HBONow.com. (That website doesn't appear to be live yet.) People who sign up for HBO Now in April will get a free 30-day introductory trial period.

The addition of HBO Now to Apple devices is a plus for cord-cutters who don't want to pay a premium price every month for an entire lineup of cable TV stations and channels that they may not even watch. With HBO Now, Apple users will be able to watch HBO's full line of TV series and movies for one monthly subscription price.

"All you need to get HBO Now is a broadband connection and an Apple device," HBO CEO Richard Plepler said. "You can watch on [the] big screen or iPhones and iPads. If you subscribe in April, you'll get the first month free and have it in time for the premiere of 'Game of Thrones.'"

HBO Now will offer more than 2,000 titles online, according to HBO. The lineup includes current series such as "True Detective," "Silicon Valley," "Girls," "Veep" and "The Leftovers," as well as past series such as "The Sopranos," "Sex and the City," "True Blood," "The Wire" and "Deadwood."

HBO Now subscribers will also be able to catch upcoming original shows such as "Westworld," "The Brink" and "Bessie" at the same time they air on HBO.