Hulu, which recently added live TV service in multiple markets, has taken another step closer to offering a viable cable replacement for cord-cutters. Today — and just in time for the new season of Game of Thrones — the streaming service announced users can subscribe to HBO and Cinemax directly through Hulu, but not yet on every device.
The $14.99/month price for HBO and through Hulu is the same as the sticker price for the standalone HBO Now streaming service. It’s also the same price that Amazon charges users for access to HBO. Hulu and Amazon also charge the same $9.99/month for Cinemax. Parent company Time Warner doesn’t sell Cinemax directly to consumers yet.
Speaking of parent companies, Time Warner is in the process of being purchased by AT&T, which is why HBO and Cinemax are each only $5/month on AT&T’s DirecTV Now streaming service. Of course, that platform doesn’t include the library of new TV shows that Hulu does or Amazon Prime’s collection of movies and shows.
Hulu says both channels — which include live access to East and West Coast feeds, and the ability to login through HBO Now — are available to users as of today, but not yet on all devices, as the latest “user experience” has only been rolled out so far to Apple TV (4th generation), Xbox One, and both iOS and Android Hulu apps. The company says the updated platform will be rolled out to additional devices later this summer.
Showtime was the first premier channel to be sold through Hulu, and it continues to be available for $8.99/month.
One analyst recently pointed out that while Hulu is often in the shadow of bigger names like Netflix and Amazon Prime, it is the service that is most likely to lead users to cut the cord with their cable companies. Why? Probably because Hulu — which is jointly owned by the parent companies of NBC, ABC, and FOX — provides next-day access to brand new episodes of first-run TV series, whereas Netflix and others have to wait months, sometimes years, before they can run those same shows on their platforms.