HBO Now closing in on 1M subscribers, Time Warner Inc. says

HBO Now is closing in on 1 million subscribers 11 months after launch, said Jeff Bewkes, CEO of parent company Time Warner Inc.

Bewkes' disclosure, which was made Tuesday at a Deutsche Bank investor conference in Palm Beach, Fla., comes after Time Warner disappointed investors in early February, revealing that the SVOD version of the popular premium cable programming brand had 800,000 customers as of the end of last year. 

Some analysts had pegged HBO Now's subscriber count as high as 1.9 million. 

"It's a successful product," Bewkes said. "We're going to push on it."

Bewkes said that the a la carte offering is not cannibalizing HBO's pay-TV services, noting that HBO added 2.7 million U.S. cable, satellite and telco customers last year.

He added that Time Warner Inc. has no intention of changing HBO Now's $15-a-month price tag. But the company is looking to ramp up the amount of original programming it produces, as rivals like Netflix continue to increase production spending. 

Bewkes said that Time Warner Inc. will increase the number of original series it produces to around 600 across all distribution platforms, including Turner Networks channels — a 50 percent increase over the current level. More than half of the $2 billion allocated to programming will be allocated to original series.

For more:
- read this Bloomberg story
- read this Seeking Alpha summary

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