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HBO’s OTT service to shake up SVOD market

Game-of-thrones2Roughly 17% of US broadband households would be likely to subscribe to HBO’s forthcoming over-the-top video service, according to new research by Parks Associates.

The research firm said that among those likely to subscribe, 91% are currently pay TV subscribers, while roughly 50% would cancel their pay TV service after subscribing to HBO’s OTT service, which will offer shows such as Game of Thrones (pictured).

“HBO picked a good time to announce its standalone HBO Go OTT service in the US. The percentage of subscribers interested in OTT video services is trending upward, and more industry players are planning to launch their own OTT services,” said Parks Associates research analyst Glenn Hower.

Parks estimates that the average head of the household in a US broadband home watches nearly 3.5 hours of OTT video each week on a TV set, with more than 50% of US broadband households subscribing to an OTT video service.

Parks Associates’ director of research, Brett Sappington, said: “2015 is set to be the year of OTT. Along with the new services from CBS, HBO, and DISH, we expect several other players to launch or announce services in the US market in the next few months.

“In Canada, Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications unveiled their Shomi online video service in November. In Europe, several players are starting up new OTT services to counter the entry of Netflix into their markets. Others are expanding their OTT offerings in order to reach customers both in their home markets and expatriates who want to watch programs from home.”

HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler announced at an HBO investor day in New York last October that it would launch its on-demand, over-the-top service HBO Go as a standalone service in the US in 2015.

HBO already offers HBO Go in the US as an authenticated, TV everywhere-style service for existing HBO cable subscribers. The launch of the web service as a standalone subscription offer follows the rollout of HBO Go as a pay-monthly online service in the Nordics back in 2012.