Great news, freeloaders: you no longer need to rely on the kindness of your ex-college roommate's friend's dad's cable password to get your "Game of Thrones" on! HBO will next year begin to offer a standalone online streaming service of its content, the company announced at a Time Warner investor's meeting Wednesday (October 15).
HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler announced that even those without a cable subscription would be able to access HBO content, a service currently only available to those with a cable company login through the HBO Go app. The number of U.S. homes with internet is much greater than those with cable, let alone premium add-on channels such as HBO.
"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."
What's still left to figure out is the distribution of this Netflix competitor, according to EW. It remains to be seen whether HBO will choose to offer the service as a separate component from their TV channel for existing cable subscribers, partner with another company or make the service totally standalone, like Netflix.
One thing is for certain: Dads everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief knowing that soon, they won't have a dozen of their kids' pals logging on to their HBO Go. House Stark for the win!
Of course, this also opens up so many opportunities for those who were previously at the mercy of those HBO subscribers they were mooching off of. The gloves are off, and we're not depending on each other for access to "Veep" anymore. This changes everything.