HBO Plans To Give Netflix A Taste Of Its Own Medicine


Netflix and HBO both are arch rivals, but both seem to have mutual respect for each other. On one hand, where Netflix has been trying to be like HBO, it appears that HBO also wants to be like the streaming firm and plans to copy some of its strategies in the coming months.

HBO following Netflix

Though HBO has a good business model when it comes to cable bundles, it isn’t doing very well with its online-only product. When it comes to Netflix’s numbers, the $15/month HBO Now is far behind. Netflix recently said it has over 75 million subscribers, versus more than 800,000 paying subscribers for HBO Now. Comparing them is not very fair though as HBO Now is a relatively new service.

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But HBO has a plan to narrow the gap, and it revealed that plan during Time Warner’s fourth quarter earnings call, says a report from Business Insider. Similar to Netflix, HBO wants to develop more original content to expand in overseas markets to become “ecosystem agnostic,” said HBO CEO Richard Plepler.

With such a plan, HBO intends to be everywhere and not just tied to a cable package. Also HBO’s streaming will be available on multiple devices such as laptops, phones, smart TVs, etc. This comes as good news for cord-cutters, who in the future won’t have to pay for cable to watch Game of Thrones.

However, there is no information on when HBO will expand to new markets and platforms. The service provider did say that it wants to make 50% more original shows this year; however, no further details were revealed during the earnings call. In contrast, Netflix aims to create 600 hours of original content this year and has already expanded to 130 new countries.

Upside potential

In other Netflix news, FBR Capital analysts gave a Market Perform rating to its stock in a note on Friday. The analysts have a $100 price target on the stock, suggesting upside potential of around 15% from Friday’s closing price of $87.40.

Year to date, the stock is down by almost 24%, while in the last year, it is up by over 31%. The stock has a 52-week high of $133.27 and a 52-week low of $58.46. The stock was up 1.22% on Friday.

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