HBO Now Proves Big Hit with Cable Cutters

June 26, 2015
By: Steve Anderson

For those have made the jump from traditional cable service to online sources for entertainment— also known as “cable cutters” or “cord cutters”—the Internet has never been quite so ready to accommodate. With services like Hulu and Netflix providing movies and television shows, and YouTube (News - Alert) supplying a bit of everything, the options are nearly endless. And for those who crave the kind of shows that only HBO can provide, HBO Now has proven its mettle.

Word from analyst firm App Annie has revealed just how far HBO Now has come, and the news—for both HBO and for HBO fans—is largely good. HBO Now started out offering a free month's access to the app before payment was required, and not only did it draw plenty of users, those users stuck around. The app debuted at number one on the worldwide iOS revenue charts for May, and on May 7, HBO Now was the number two daily grossing app. Given that HBO Now asks $14.99 for monthly access to its content, that's a substantial number of users involved.

But this is no flash in the pan; while June has a ways to go before the numbers for the month can be calculated, App Annie's figures suggest there's no sign of big slowdown. HBO Now is the number one grossing entertainment app in the United States for the period from June 7 to June 23, and recently it held the number eight slot for highest overall grosses for June.

Image via Shutterstock

While the trends for May and much of June look similar, that doesn't necessarily mean that it will carry on into July and beyond. Though when there are two months saying much the same thing, the idea that the third month will look at least similar isn't out of line; history may not repeat itself, as some have said, but it does often rhyme. However, key points remain: for instance, Hulu landed the number seven slot on the Worldwide iOS revenue chart for May, and was number 10 back in April.

It is important here, however, to note the timing. Hulu (News - Alert) made a huge gain in the period between April and May, just as many shows were starting to run season finale episodes. It could be that paid subscription rates went up for the summer as users picked up subscriptions to binge-watch whole seasons; commonly, only the last few episodes of a series are available with the free tier of Hulu. Consider also that April going into May is getting close to the end of school season; with kids and teachers alike out of the action until roughly September, it's not out of line to suggest that this is a temporary gain rather than a trend in the making for cord cutters out there. The spike in viewership may reflect a temporary adjustment in free time rather than a move away from cable service.

Still, at least anecdotally, we know that there are plenty of people making the jump from cable to online sources. Speaking here as a Netflix subscriber and a routine YouTube viewer, I know it to be true from my own experience if absolutely nothing else. There are likely many others out there eager for an experience that more closely mirrors interests, and cable cutters are finding it a lot more palatable overall.




Edited by Dominick Sorrentino