Praise be the old gods and the new! Like the White Walkers from their hit TV series adaptation Game of Thrones, the decrepit zombies of HBO have now entered the modern age of stand alone streaming services. Today, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has felt a great disturbance in the Force. Learn more about this incredibly exciting development after the break.
Speaking at the Time Warner Inc. Investor Meeting today, HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler made his big announcement. Beginning in 2015, HBO will indeed offer stand-alone streaming services to compete with Netflix and other services such as Hulu and Amazon Prime. Plepler cited that this decision was made in part by the ever growing number in broadband-only homes. There are currently ten million at this time.
“That is a large and growing opportunity that should no longer be left untapped. It is time to remove all barriers to those who want HBO. So, in 2015, we will launch a stand-alone, over-the-top, HBO service in the United States. We will work with our current partners. And, we will explore models with new partners. All in, there are 80 million homes that do not have HBO and we will use all means at our disposal to go after them.”
What exactly will “over-the-top” look like? HBO has a steady stream of newer movie releases than Netflix, but they do have live boxing and comedy specials, which will be a nice bonus if that is included in their streaming services. HBO will have to offer a lot more than just their regularly scheduled programming if they want to grab the attention of Netflix subscribers mooching off of their parent’s HBO GO accounts. To convert password sharers will be a big hurdle for HBO.
There has been no official word on how much this service will cost, but we can assume that it will be competitive to Netflix’s prices which stand at $7.99 for HD streaming on two screens. It will be interesting to see if Netflix will continue with its originally planned price hike from $7.99 to $8.99 for new members with this news or not.
Along with Game of Thrones, current HBO offerings includes The Leftovers, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Comeback, Girls, Veep, and Silicon Valley. Boardwalk Empire and The Newsroom are entering their final season this year.
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