What a difference a weekend makes. Almost two years after HBO launched its on-demand streaming service HBO Go, the premium cable network has finally gotten the last two major holdouts to agree to offer it to their subscribers. On Friday, Time Warner Cable announced HBO Go would be available to its subscribers in the next month. And on Monday morning, Cablevision finally capitulated as well, saying the service would be available to its subscribers “in the coming months.”
With Time Warner Cable and Cablevision on board, HBO Go is now available on all the major cable and IPTV operators, fulfilling the network’s quest to offer unfettered access to its content. HBO co-president Eric Kessler wrote in a statement that the service will soon be available to 98 percent of the network’s subscribers. In that respect, HBO is leading the cable industry in adopting what I like to call the “ubiquity imperative“: the need to let viewers watch your content whenever, wherever and on whatever device they’re trying to access it from.
HBO Go makes movies in the pay TV window available for streaming, as well as every episode of every original series the network has produced. Altogether, that’s more than 1,400 titles, and basically anything any HBO fan would ever want to watch. Even better, all its movies and TV shows can be accessed from PCs, mobile devices and tablets, Roku streaming set-top boxes — and soon will also be on Microsoft’s Xbox Live service.
Frankly, I’m a big fan of the HBO Go service and of the network’s emphasis on ubiquity and hope other networks — like Showtime and Starz — soon follow suit with their own TV Everywhere services. The more content that’s available everywhere, the more value those networks will provide to their subscribers.