HBO NOW review

HBO NOW highlights

HBO NOW review

If you’re a fan of gripping dramas and thrilling mysteries like Chernobyl, Game of Thrones and Westworld, then HBO NOW is where it’s at. With an extensive collection of currently-airing original productions as well as well-loved classics, it’s no surprise that this HBO streaming service is among the most popular choices out there. It’s a great way to catch your favorite shows and movies if you don’t have a cable subscription. 

HBO NOW closed the first year after its launch in 2015 with over 800,000 subscribers. With an ever-expanding content library, HBO NOW continues to win the hearts of viewers. By December 2019, it had amassed around 10 million subscribers—a  five million increase from the previous year.  

As of June 12 of this year, Warner Media announced that HBO NOW is becoming simply, HBO. The HBO NOW-branded app will be removed from platforms on July 31. If you’re a current subscriber, don’t fret. You’ll still have access to content through a rebranded HBO app.

Why HBO NOW may be the right streaming service for you

The service’s premium on-air originals are enough to convince many viewers to subscribe. That said, the content selection may not be robust enough for some, making it perfect as an add-on to another service rather than a standalone option. For instance, if you add HBO to Hulu, you get access to HBO NOW for a much richer content library.

Compare HBO NOW packages and pricing

HBO NOW currently has only one package available for the standalone service for $14.99/mo. However, other streaming services like Hulu offer HBO as an add-on to their base subscription for the same price standalone HBO service.

The $14.99/mo. price tag is considerably higher than other premium content streaming services like Starz, which will cost you $8.99/mo., and Cinemax, which costs $9.99/mo. through Hulu. 

HBO NOW
Monthly price$14.99/mo.
Free trial length7 days
Number of titles1,300+
Number of simultaneous streams3
Cloud DVR storageNone
Offline watching availableNo

HBO NOW bundles, deals and free trials

Because HBO is offered through so many third-party services as an add-on, there are some great bundles and free trials to be had. Simply check your service provider to see what special offers are available. One negative to note, HBO used to offer a deal on their subscription service to students but is no longer offering new student accounts.

Bundle HBO with Cinemax through Amazon Prime 

If you’re an Amazon Prime member, or thinking of becoming one, you can save $2.99/mo. When you bundle HBO (normally $14.99/mo.) and Cinemax (normally $9.99/mo.) for $21.99/mo. 

Try HBO with a 7-day free trial

In addition to the free trial offered by HBO itself, most providers—Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube TV to name a few—that offer the service as an add-on also offer a 7-day free trial. If you already subscribe to a larger streaming or cable service but are curious about what HBO has to offer, the week-long trial run is a major plus.

Device compatibility

HBO NOW is compatible with the following devices:

HBO NOW features

Although HBO NOW currently doesn’t allow video downloads for offline viewing, it compensates for that with a few standout features.

Enjoy premium shows and movies

The huge collection of original productions and exclusive content is perhaps the most attractive element of this HBO streaming service. Get access to currently airing shows like Watchmen and Westworld as well as classics like The Wire.

Look forward to new content every week

The HBO streaming service keeps things fresh with new movies and HBO shows every week, so you never run out of options.

Stream on multiple devices at once

You can stream HBO NOW simultaneously on three devices as long as you’re connected to your home Wi-Fi network. If you try to stream on a fourth device, you’ll get a notification that too many people are using your account at once.

Cancel at any time

HBO NOW gives you the option to cancel your subscription at any time. Just make sure you submit a request one or two days before the next billing cycle so you don’t get charged. Even if you cancel your subscription in the middle of the month, you can still stream videos until your monthly billing cycle ends.

What to watch on HBO NOW

Shows

HBO NOW has a huge selection of shows across various categories, including documentaries, drama, comedy and sports. Check out some of the most popular and highly-rated recommendations like Barry, Chernobyl, Game of Thrones, The Larry Sanders Show, The Sopranos, Watchmen and Westworld.

Pro tip: See our full list of best shows to watch on HBO to find your next binge-worthy show

Movies

HBO keeps its movie selection fresh with the additions of classics and recent blockbusters alike. Some top film choices are Doctor Sleep, The Joker, The Hate U Give, The English Patient, The Talented Mr. Ripley and A Star is Born.

Pro tip: Browse soda’s list of the best movies to watch on HBO for more recommendations

Our hot take

If you’re a fan of HBO originals and want unlimited access to its classic shows and currently-airing content, this streaming service is worth the investment. For those who only see HBO productions as a good-to-have option instead of a requirement, it’s better to invest in other streaming services like Hulu or Amazon Prime Video. And remember, you always have the option to get HBO as an add-on to your existing plan if you change your mind.

Jacqueline Zote

Jacqueline Zote is a digital marketing and entertainment writer who makes regular contributions to Sprout Social and Recreation Insider. Her interests range from pop culture and mythology to social activism. When she’s not writing, she goes on food adventures and binges on crime drama. Her short fiction has been published by HarperCollins Publishers and Zubaan Books.