HBO has accrued 5 million online video subscribers since venturing outside the cable bundle in 2015. But according to Bloomberg‘s unnamed source, roughly half of those subscribers didn’t sign up through the stand-alone HBO Now service. Instead, they’re joining through add-ons to other online video services, such as Amazon Channels and AT&T’s DirecTV Now bundle.
While 5 million sounds like a big number, it only comprises about 10% of HBO’s 49 million traditional TV subscribers in the United States. And some of those online customers may not be paying HBO’s full $15 per month price; with DirecTV Now, HBO is a $5 per month add-on, and it’s free with an unlimited AT&T wireless plan.
In any case, Bloomberg‘s report underscores the importance of distribution deals with other online video providers as more people give up their cable bundles. Unless you’re Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon, it’s hard to go it alone.