Pay TV’s monopoly on live or near live HBO programming is over: HBO Now, the channel’s video on demand streaming service, is available today on Apple TV — as well as Cablevision’s Optimum Online broadband service. It costs $14.99 a month, but new customers who sign up in April through Apple or Cablevision get a 30-day free trial.
The timing isn’t a complete surprise: Both companies said that their HBO offerings would be available before the April 12 premiere of the new season of Game Of Thrones. HBO says that it “continues to be in discussions with its existing network of distributors and new digital partners to offer HBO Now.”
The stars seem to be aligned for other streaming announcements as well.
CBS says that its $5.99 a month CBS All Access just became available on the popular Roku platform. The service offers VOD shows, and live broadcasts in many markets. It replaces CBS Channel which offers clips; its customers can continue to just see clips on CBS All Access even if they don’t subscribe to it.
The addition of Roku “marks the first of many connected device platforms we’ll be bringing this service to in the coming months,” says EVP Marc DeBevoise.
Amazon Prime Instant Video also is expanding — in this case to Android tablets. That should interest Amazon Prime subscribers who are in the Google ecosystem, especially when they travel. Prime Instant Video is “the only U.S. online-only subscription streaming service that enables offline viewing—on a plane, on vacation, and anywhere else where you may not have Wi-Fi,” the company says.