HBO to Offer Standalone Streaming Service in 2015
HBO subscriptions have been something of a running joke through the TV industry, with a great many of the network's loyal fans sharing HBOGO passwords to avoid expensive cable packages, previously the only mean with which to watch shows like 'Game of Thrones' or 'True Detective.' Now, the company has finally acquiesced, and announced an independent streaming service due out in 2015.
For years HBO had remained stalwart against models such as Netflix or Amazon, which allowed viewers to bypass the traditional cable model, and view programming under a streaming plan. Now, while HBO CEO Richard Plepler had relatively few details to offer in the initial shareholders' meeting announcement, we at least have confirmation HBO will move in the direction of an independent service:
[10 million broadband-only homes] 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.
2015 will undoubtedly prove a banner year for HBO, between the likes of 'Game of Thrones' season 5 or the highly-anticipated 'True Detective' season 2, but it remains to be seen if the streaming service would be in place by either's second-quarter premiere. Either way, it's a pretty huge development for the network and its audience, one sure to produce plenty of waves throughout the cable industry as well.
What do you think? Will you ditch cable now that HBO intends to offer a streaming-only service?