It's finally happening! HBO has announced that they plan to offer a stand-alone HBO streaming service next year. The cable channel made the announcement today following a presentation focused on their domestic business.
HBO and Showtime execs have recognized the appeal of on-demand streaming services, as evidenced by HBO Go’s Sunday night Internet implosions and Showtime Anytime's gradual rise in popularity, but those sites are still tied to consumers' TV services. Will we ever live in a world where Americans who don’t own a TV can watch True Detective on their own separate HBO Go account?
The time has arrived, Amazon Prime users! Today, Amazon's streaming video service has rolled out their first wave of HBO content. That includes six seasons of The Sopranos, three seasons of Deadwood and five seasons of The Wire, among other beloved HBO series, all available streaming on Amazon Prime for your viewing pleasure.
HBO series are coming to Amazon Prime. This sounds like a pretty big get for Amazon, especially considering HBO hasn't regularly made their series available through streaming video services outside of their own HBO Go. The multiyear deal will not only include a number of popular previously-aired series, but also eventually some of HBO's current series, Girls and The Newsroom included.
You know that uncomfortable moment when your Dad walks into the room while you're watching one of the most awkward sex scenes of HBO's Girls, and uses it as an opportunity to talk to you about your right to speak up because it's "your body"? Ok, maybe that never happens to you, but the scenario sure is funny and HBO's not above using it to promote HBO Go.
Maybe last night you were expecting to settle down with HBO Go and watch the final episode of True Detective, but when you tried to load the streaming video service, you found yourself staring at a flat circle of doom. If that's the case, you weren't alone.
Every time HBO Go becomes compatible with a new device, the streaming video feature gets that much more valuable. And it also adds value to the device. In this case, it's Apple TV. Technically, HBO Go users could stream the service through Apple TV through their mobile device and Airplay, but Apple announced today that HBO Go, as well as WatchESPN, are both available directly through Apple TV.
Why can't HBO Go be like Netflix and let customers subscribe to it without having to get a full cable package? At present, U.S. residents need a basic cable package in order to subscribe to HBO, which is how you get access to HBO Go. On content, HBO Go is similar to Netflix, in that it offers a bevy of movies and TV shows, which can be accessed online or through an HBO Go app. Of course, in the case of HBO Go, the TV series offered are all HBO series, but between past and current HBO shows, the premium cable channel has no shortage of those.
HBO's streaming video feature HBO Go is so packed with TV shows, films and other HBO content that it's practically worth the cost of the monthly subscription on its own. Of course, watching the On Demand content isn't quite as simple as turning on your television… yet. HBO appears to be working on that, however. They previously made HBO Go available through the Xbox, for those HBO subscribers who also have an Xbox Gold subscription. Of course, the cost adds up there.
There's a secret about HBO Go and College Humor has found a way to bring it to light with one of their sketches. Those familiar with the premium channel's streaming video service know that HBO Go is like Netflix, in that it offers a virtual buffet of streaming content accessible through mobile devices or your web browser if you're an HBO subscriber.
In addition to hours and hours of HBO original series (previously aired and current shows), HBO Go also offers movies and other specials. Those features alone make HBO Go a must-have app for HBO subscribers. But HBO has taken it a step further by creating second-screen experiences for their programming. They did it for Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones, and they'll be doing it for True Blood, which returns for Season 5 this Sunday night.
I like to think of HBO Go as the Netflix of HBO. Bursting with content, the streaming video feature certainly helps justify the monthly subscription fee for HBO, especially when factoring in the already-pricy cost of cable these days. HBO continues to expand on its availability, not only with regards to the cable/satellite using HBO subscribers who can access it, but also with regards to the compatible devices. Today's good news is that Kindle Fire users will now be able to access HBO go from their tablets.
Second screen apps and interactive features seem to be a growing trend for DVDs. HBO’s taking that to the next level by allowing viewers to use the HBO Go app to enhance the viewing experience for Game of Thrones. Added content through the app isn’t entirely new, though viewers will now be able to access the interactive elements from their iPads.
We learned last month that HBO’s streaming video feature HBO Go will eventually be available through XBox 360, possibly as soon as April 1st. Today we have a teaser for the feature, which uses Game of Thrones as part of the pitch.
Over the past few years, Microsoft has been doing their best to make their Xbox 360 not just a gaming platform, but a hub for all sorts of entertainment. Partnering with Netflix was a brilliant move, and now we've finally got a date for one of the most anticipated upcoming apps: HBO Go is coming to the Xbox 360 on April 1st.