The annual Google I/O conference has started with Sundar Pichai delivering the keynote, which I’m sure many of our readers will have been following. And right at the end, Sundar announced that HBO NOW is coming to the Google Play Store for your favorite Android device. The HBO NOW application coexists with a standalone subscription to the HBO television network and allows subscribers to watch HBO’s shows without requiring cable TV: it’s perfect if you want to catch up with the immensely popular “Game of Thrones” series but don’t want the expense of running to a cable system, but have an Android smartphone or tablet. We also understand that the HBO NOW application includes Chromecast support, which is ideal if you are planning on watching HBO’s shows on a HD television with a Google Chromecast plugged in.
This news is good for both HBO fans, or fans of anything they have the exclusive rights (such as “Game of Thrones”) and for those people who are looking to cue the (cable) ties. HBO are rumored to be contemplating special deals, perhaps seducing customers to their service by lowering the price – adding Android users to their platform should see a strong surge in the number of customers. HBO offers a number of television shows and many movies, including some that one might call “specialist adult” in nature.
Unfortunately, at the time of writing we don’t have the complete details. We don’t know when the HBO NOW application will be launched or how much it will cost every month, although we may reasonably expect the charges to mirror iOS subscription model. Here, the iOS devices (which includes everything running iOS 6 and later and the Apple TV) the monthly subscription is $14.99. There’s no commitment either so customers can sign up without having to run with the deal for twelve months or even longer. However, then HBO NOW was launched for the Apple platform in early April, several Apple websites carried stories announcing that the service would be a three month Apple exclusive. This no longer appears to be the case as Sundar announcing that the HBO NOW service is coming “this summer” but it will be ready for the upcoming “True Detective” season, which kicks off on the 21 June – a week or so sooner than the three month Apple exclusive. It is also logical to expect Google offering a similar subscription service to that provided by both Apple and Cablevision and for it to be available on smartphones, tablets and Android TV. However, as soon as we receive more information, we will keep you in the loop.