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.

HBO GO possibly availble without cable subscription


Today one cannot watch HBO series on a mobile devices, computer or set-top box without having a regular HBO subscription. The HBO service is simply an add-on on top the “normal” cable product. But according to Reuters, the company is thinking about a stand alone proposition for HBO GO. The idea is to work together with broadband internet providers and offer customers that do not have a traditional cable subscription the possibility to upgrade their internet subscription for USD 10 or USD 15 for the addition of HBO GO.

There is always the fair of cannibalisation and for internet providers that are part of a company that also provides cable television this might be reason for heavy protest, but in the end this is the direction we are heading. Although it is not so much about the technology, but people more and more just want to pay only for what they want to watch. That model is services over the internet much better than trough traditional television channels. So let’s hope HBO is willing to take this risk so that others can follow. Hopefully this will also mean they will be offering their content for everyone at the same time all over the world.

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.

Use HBO Go on your Apple TV

HBO Go on Apple TV

No, there is no HBO Go app for Apple TV but there is a new version of the iOS app that allows you to stream HBO Go content to your Apple TV using AirPlay. This news was brought by President and COO of HBO Eric Kessler at the D: Dive Into Media event. The app can already be downloaded and the Airplay option is also available for the Cinemax MAX GO app from HBO.

Streaming from your phone or tablet might be even better then playing from Apple TV. More and more second screen devices will act like a remote control. However, using a seperate app for every content supplier / channel might not be best solution in the end. But that’s why there are companies like Dijit that try to combine a remote control, an EPG and social features.

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