Traditional media stocks suffered a bout of volatility in 2015, as investors reacted to concerns that audiences’ cord-cutting trends would soon upend the entire television industry. As a result, Time Warner watched its stock tumble by nearly 25% for the year. That drop-off came despite the fact that Time Warner’s biggest division, its Turner networks, actually saw higher ad and subscription revenues last year, even as subscribers dipped. Investors’ fears have cooled a bit and CEO Jeff Bewkes seems confident that Time Warner is prepared to compete on the digital front-lines—especially since the company took a big step into the streaming fray with its HBO Now app attracting 800,000 subscribers in its first six months. Looking ahead, Time Warner’s networks look to receive boosts from a particularly frothy 2016 election cycle, even as rumors continue to mount that investors are clamoring for an HBO spin-off or a sale of the entire company.
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Meanwhile, AT&T is seeking to buy HBO's parent, Time Warner.
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Starting in 2015 consumers will no longer be required to have a cable subscription to sign up for the HBO GO streaming service.