HBO wants to compete with Netflix in a lot of ways, but one of those ways probably won’t be pricing. The Information’s sources claim that HBO will charge at least $15 per month for its standalone streaming service, which will match what subscribers pay per month to get HBO as part of their cable bundles. More →
Predicting the behavior of consumers is notoriously tough, but nowhere is it harder than in the rapidly evolving video streaming market. Pretty much nobody expected Netflix’s streaming service to bloom into the huge mainstream success it currently is. A few years ago, many viewed Netflix’s streaming operation as fatally hamstrung by the narrow and often low-quality movie selection. And this autumn, almost nobody predicted just how much a $1 summer price hike would dent the company’s momentum. More →
This is the moment that cord cutters have been waiting for: HBO will start offering a standalone over-the-top online streaming service starting next year, which will be a massive blow to the American cable TV industry. HBO made this announcement during an investor conference for parent company Time Warner, which has in the past hinted that it wants to give HBO fans the option to watch their favorite shows without having to subscribe to expensive cable bundles. Now that HBO is unbundling its highly acclaimed shows from cable, it will put pressure on more content providers to make their shows more readily available online. More →
Apple fans aren’t the only ones who have had an exciting week for news — cord cutters now have reason to cheer as well. Quartz reports that Jeff Bewkes, the CEO of HBO parent company Time Warner, told an investment conference this week that his company is “seriously considering” whether it wants to start offering HBO Go as a standalone subscription option that people can subscribe to without having cable TV. While Bewkes didn’t full commit to fulfilling cord cutters’ dreams, he did go much farther than he ever has toward saying HBO Go might be a standalone option sometime in the future. More →
HBO has a brand-new reason to offer a standalone online streaming service other than making cord cutters very happy — it could also rake in huge sums of money. Ars Technica points out that a new research note from Barclays Capital analyst Kannan Venkateshwar, who projects that HBO could generate an additional $600 million per year by offering its content online and apart from cable bundles. More →
HBO isn’t going to abandon cable companies in the United States anytime soon, but it has no such allegiances to pay TV providers overseas. The Wall Street Journal reports that HBO is looking for new countries that could be candidates to get its standalone web TV service, which has proved to be a smash hit in the Nordic countries where it’s been available since 2012. More →
HBO gets it: You want to be able to subscribe to its content without having to pay for a bunch of other channels you don’t want. However, just because HBO understands what you want, that doesn’t mean it care. Re/code’s Peter Kafka has an excellent post explaining why HBO isn’t going to pull a Netflix and offer a standalone online subscription, no matter how much you beg it to do so. More →
One of the only things keeping cable subscribers tied to their providers is the never-ending stream of quality content being pumped out by HBO. Whether it’s Game of Thrones, True Detective or The Leftovers, many of us can’t help but gather around the television on Sunday night for hours on end, but it doesn’t alleviate the pain of that $100+ subscription. That’s why it might be time to take advantage of one of the little known secrets of the cable industry.
Between the practical stunts, the engrossing performances and the beautiful locations featured on Game of Thrones, the special effects that tie the show together often go unnoticed. Mackevision, one of the visual effects studios working on the HBO smash hit, has shared a highlight reel of its work on season 4. The studio does everything from sprucing up the backdrops to crafting large cities to giving real-life sets a digital makeover with just enough medieval panache to pass as part of Westeros.
Amazon’s Prime Instant Video service won’t give you everything you can get on HBO… but it will still give you a lot. Amazon on Wednesday announced the first batch of shows that its Prime Instant Video and it includes every season of The Sopranos, The Wire, Six Feet Under, Deadwood, Rome, Eastbound & Down, Enlightened and Flight of the Conchords. You’ll also be able to watch at least some early seasons of current shows such as True Blood, Boardwalk Empire and Treme, although sadly for fantasy fans there’s no Game of Thrones on this list just yet. Other HBO content available through Amazon Prime Instant Video includes original movies Mary and Martha, Temple Grandin and You Don’t Know Jack, as well as original miniseries Band of Brothers, The Pacific, John Adams, Parade’s End and Angels in America. Amazon’s full press release announcing the available shows follows below. More →
Three years ago, Game of Thrones blew away viewers with what immediately became one of the most iconic openings in television history. Paired with an epic score, the introduction to Westeros was both informative and imaginative, spanning continents while focusing in on some of the key locations of the story. The opening matched the tone of HBO’s show flawlessly, which makes YouTube user NicksplosionFX’s Mario-themed parody even more delectable. With the help of an 8-bit remix of the ubiquitous theme, NicksplosionFX has recreated the opening scene inside of the Super Nintendo classic, Super Mario World. From Yoshi’s Island to Bowser’s Castle, the Mushroom Kingdom isn’t quite as vast as Westeros, but the parody is spot on. Check it out below. More →
Amazon and HBO on Wednesday announced a first-of-its-kind deal that will make HBO content available to Amazon Prime subscribers. Several popular HBO shows and mini-series will be included in the deal, and content can be streamed to computers, smartphones, tablets and TVs using Amazon’s various video-streaming apps. What’s more, all newly available HBO content will also be accessible on Amazon’s new Fire TV streaming set-top box. More →