[dropcap size=small]T[/dropcap]he changing ways in which audiences consume film and television has resulted in a growing animosity for large cable bills and premium channel subscription plans.
Now, the latest announcement from HBO delivers another nail into the coffin of traditional cable services. The premium cable network has announced that starting next year, it plans to offer an online-only streaming service.
If you’ve just been waiting for an excuse, you can now chuck your cable box out the window.
This announcement sets up HBO for more direct competition with media streaming tyrant, Netflix. Viewers will now be able to watch HBO programming without being committed to a cable subscription.
During an investor meeting for parent company Time Warner, HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler announced:
[dropcap size=small]“[/dropcap]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.”
Plepler then went on to run down three potential models for the new service. The first would be to sell the online-only service through HBO’s existing cable providers. (For example, say you have a broadband service through Comcast and want HBO’s streaming service. You would be able to purchase that service without having any cable channels.) The second method is to distribute the service through new partners such as Amazon or Google. The final method would be to follow Netflix’s lead and market the streaming service directly to consumers.
While HBO launched the HBO Go app in 2010, programming was only available to viewers who were also subscribed for the traditional cable service. Earlier this year, HBO took another step in making content more available by licensing a large portion of its library to Amazon Prime. This new development goes even further, and is expected to be a massive success.
What HBO shows are you excited about beginning or revisiting?