In mid-October, HBO will sell streaming subscriptions to non-cable customers for the first time, but it won't be for customers in the US, Variety reports. The premium TV network announced its plans in Stockholm today, and as Variety reports, the new service, called HBO Nordic AB, will launch in Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark. According to the report, the service will cost under €10 per month (about $12.50), and the service will also include content from HBO's competitors, including Showtime and Starz.
While HBO has offered streaming service to its existing customers with HBO GO, that service still requires a traditional cable subscription — an annoyance for cord-cutters who enjoy HBO programming. It's nice to see HBO finally starting to innovate with an alternative business model, but as Variety points out, HBO isn't risking much by doing so in Nordic countries: Variety says that "Scandinavia is a market where HBO doesn't have to protect an entrenched business model as lucrative as the one in the US" — something the company admitted earlier this year when customers expressed interest in standalone HBO service. As HBO tells Gizmodo, "this model is specific to the Nordic region, taking into consideration the various factors specific to these countries."