HBO will be available as a stand-alone, Netflix-like service in 2015!
HBO launched their streaming app HBO Go in 2010 to view its current programs, but it’s only been available to subscribers of its traditional cable service. The network took another step into the streaming world earlier this year by licensing a large portion of its library to Amazon Prime, but now it’s going full throttle into streaming.
HBO has been the profitable crown jewel in the portfolio of the mega-media conglomerate Time Warner, owner of CNN, TNT, TBS and HBO. The Home Box Office brings in 1.2 Billion in profits each year for TW. Speaking at the Time Warner Inc. Investor Meeting today, Richard Plepler, chairman and CEO of HBO broke the news noting that there were ten million broadband only homes and that number would continue to grow.
Plepler ran down three potential distribution models for the streaming service.
- The first is to sell the online-only service through HBO’s existing cable providers. (For example, if you have broadband service through Time Warner or Comcast and want the network’s streaming service, you would be able to purchase the online service without having any cable channels.)
- The second is to distribute the service via new partners like Amazon, Google or Microsoft.
- The third method would be to attempt the Netflix model, whereby HBO markets its streaming service direct to consumers and skips the middlemen.
Cord-cutting HBO fans have increasingly clamored for the service to be made available without a traditional cable subscription. The network’s most popular program in its history, Game of Thrones, has been ranked the most pirated TV show in the world, and one common refrain among illegal downloaders is that there is no way to legally obtain the series in a timely manner without opting into an expensive cable TV package.