For current HBO GO users this will be interesting, but for those who haven’t taken the plunge it will be huge: HBO has finally announced they will offer an online-only streaming service starting next year.
This means that the cable network is making all its shows and rotating roster of big movies available to consumers WITHOUT having to subscribe to HBO through their cable provider. The news has no doubt sent a warning shot across the landscape of other streaming services like Netflix and HuluPlus, who have until now stood relatively uncontested in the still-fresh terrain of instant viewing.
HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler made the announcement during a Time Warner investors conference, noting the 10 million (and climbing) broadband-only homes that will be a fertile market for HBO GO, as well as its sister network Cinemax.
“That is a large and growing opportunity that should no longer be left untapped,” Plepler said. “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.”