Google Play now serves Game of Thrones, The Newsroom, The Wire and more

The Wire

In a surprise move, Google has negotiated a deal with HBO, offering seven popular series via Google Play. This means that the series have to be bought per episode iTunes style instead of just watching what you want for a fixed fee like Netflix is offering. The price for a normal episode is between USD 1,99 and USD 2,99 with an extra surcharge of a dollar for HD. And more series will be added as Google states this is only the beginnning of their partnership with HBO. For now, Google will offer Game of Thrones, The Newsroom, Girls, Boardwalk Empire, Veep, True Blood, and The Wire.

It is such a surprise since Google seemed to be focussing only on access so far. Google TV and Google Chromecast are both Android based solution that offer a broad range of online video on your television provided by third parties. And YouTube of course. But so far, Google was rather absent on the content market.

Since the Spotify model seems to be the winning model, the shows have been aired elsewhere before and the deal only allows US citizens to buy the episodes, it is not that big a revolution. Yet. Let’s just see what is going to happen in the near future. Google has finally released a Spotify competitor for music. And they do have a very valuable asset with YouTube. Maybe this is just the beginning and is Google about to take on Netflix. Time will tell.

Game of Thrones available to all HBO customers within 1 week after airing in the US. And all the other series too.

Game of Thrones

Good news from HBO. The Verge brings the news that HBO will make all its original programming available to the world within one week after airing the episode in the United States. That includes big hits like Game of Thrones. This might have some impact as traditional TV channels might want to think twice about buying the series and run it on their own network. On the other hand, a week might be too long. Why wait and not air it globally at the same time? Maybe even distribute it through other paid channels like iTunes. Popular series can be downloaded through torrent websites within a day, so desperate fans are not going to wait for a week and get it anyway. They want it the same time or they will download it. As for the others, they do not really care if they can watch it a week, a month or 3 month later I guess. So this seems like a good step in right direction but in the end I think the only way you can earn money broadcasting a series is by releasing it worldwide at the same time.