Morning Media Newsfeed: HBO Now to Stream on Apple TV | Gigaom Abruptly Shuts Down

HBO Now to stream exclusively on Apple TV. Tech blog Gigaom abruptly shuts down. These stories and more in today's Morning Media Newsfeed

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At Launch, HBO’s New Streaming Service Will Only Be Available on Apple Devices (Adweek)
Apple TV is going to be the only way to watch HBO’s cord-cutter-friendly streaming service, at least when the service launches. HBO Now will debut at the beginning of April, according to network CEO Richard Plepler, who spoke at Apple’s press conference Monday morning in San Francisco, and will play exclusively on Apple hardware. THR HBO Now will be available April 12 for $14.99 a month, just in time for the premiere of Game of Thrones. Mashable The service will include access to all HBO content including original series and third-party movies. There had been some speculation that HBO Now would have only part of HBO’s content library. Variety “All you need to get HBO Now is a broadband connection and an Apple device,” said Plepler. Apple has sold 25 million Apple TV units to date. The company announced that it’s lowering the price of Apple TV from $99 to $69. HBO Now also will be available on Apple’s iPhones and iPads. Capital New York The deal with Apple is significant, as it is the first time HBO has offered its service on its own, without being tied to a pay-TV subscription. HBO does expect to roll out the HBO Now service to other providers, both digital (perhaps Dish’s Sling TV, or Roku) as well as through more traditional pay-TV providers, who can try to upsell people who buy broadband Internet subscriptions. HBO says it remains in discussions with both traditional and new partners.

Tech Blog Gigaom Abruptly Shuts Down (NYT)
Gigaom, a pioneering technology blog that became a fixture in Silicon Valley and claimed 6.4 million monthly readers, abruptly announced on Monday that it would shut down. Re/code The site, which was one of the first prominent tech blogs to launch in 2006, has recently hired new management, including an interim CEO. It has, in recent years, focused on its more lucrative research business, more than its Web news operations. Gigaom also does events. Mashable “Gigaom is winding down and its assets are now controlled by the company’s lenders,” founder Om Malik wrote Monday. “It is not how you want the story of a company you founded to end.” USA Today A year ago, Malik left the site after it raised about $8 million in new funds from Shea Ventures and its other existing investors, including True Ventures, Alloy Ventures and Reed Elsevier Ventures. Malik then joined True Ventures as a partner. Gigaom Gigaom recently became unable to pay its creditors in full at this time. As a result, the company is working with its creditors that have rights to all of the company’s assets as their collateral. All operations have ceased. We do not know at this time what the lenders intend to do with the assets or if there will be any future operations using those assets. Om.Co Malik: There will be time for postmortems, but not today. Today, I want to thank all the people who make (and have helped make) Gigaom. Their role in this journey was what really made it all worth it. They are great people and they will all do great work wherever they go. I want to thank our investors who believed in the business long before it became fashionable. And most importantly, I want to thank you dear readers for coming along on this trip of a lifetime.

Frank Underwood Lands CNN Docu-Series… Sort of (TVNewser)
Kevin Spacey, who plays President Frank Underwood on the Netflix political drama House of Cards, is teaming up with CNN for a six-part mini docu-series. The original series is currently titled Race for The White House, and will focus on prominent election campaigns from the past. FishbowlDC In addition to narrating, Spacey will also be producing the series with Dana Brunetti, president of Trigger Street Productions. The docu-series will chronicle the stories of six presidential hopefuls and will include “interviews, archival footage and ‘dramatic recreations.’” Variety Since CNN president Jeff Zucker took the reins of the network in 2013, CNN has placed increasing emphasis on a rotating series of documentary-style programs that run in primetime. Under Zucker’s aegis, CNN has enlisted hosts like Mike Rowe, John Walsh, Lisa Ling, Morgan Spurlock and Anthony Bourdain to lead series that rely on nonfiction and investigation. The network has also commissioned or aired a number of documentary films. Capital New York Zucker, in a release, said that the mini-series “will be the perfect complement” to the network’s news coverage of the 2016 presidential election. The series will debut next year, as the presidential primaries are in high gear.