Could we see a price drop for HBO Now?
The invisible hand of the free market system is pure competition. Lack of competition leads to high prices, poor customer service and high customer dissatisfaction. You know who you are. With streaming growing as a medium both for cord cutters and those looking to add new services to existing packages Showtime may have just done the public a big favor. By offering their new streaming service at $10.00 it may set a standard that other premium movie and TV channels have to match. The $10.00 price is much more in line with what Netflix and Hulu charge and puts it less than the cost of HBO Now which goes for $15.00. It should be considered no coincidence that HBO recently reached out to customers via an email to inquire about lower prices. Showtime may not have been the first to the market but it may end up shaping it anyway.
Who is Next?
Starz famously pulled programming from Netflix a few years ago, though it has begun to make its way back bit by bit. It is not unrealistic to expect to see Starz offer an over the top solution moving forward. What I wonder though is considering the stature of the service compared to HBO and Showtime will it demand the same kind of price structure? Viacom may also be a candidate for OTT distribution. The large package of channels which includes Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and MTV has struggled with negotiations with pay TV providers in the past year finding itself on the outs with Sudden Link. Could we see a monthly package of channels available on set top boxes? The market seems ripe for this sort of thing going forward.