HBO Go has been one of the most well-received apps in the streaming video service marketplace. Only available to HBO subscribers, the app lets you watch popular HBO shows on your mobile devices, including your iPhone and iPad, and on your computer and devices like Roku and XBox 360 as well. But will HBO and parent company Time Warner allow access to HBO Go for non-subscribers as a standalone service? It's hard to say, but here are the top rumors about an HBO GO standalone app.
1. It May Be Attached to Your Internet Bill
In an interview at the season 3 premiere of HBO's critically acclaimed hit Game of Thrones, CEO Richard Plepler indicated that the company may be prepping a service that will be an "add-on" to your Internet bill. So, you won't need to subscribe to cable at all, and still have access to your favorite HBO shows. "Right now we have the right model," Plepler told Reuters on Wednesday. "Maybe HBO GO, with our broadband partners, could evolve."
2. However, Neither HBO Nor Time Warner is Actually Working on it Yet
According to AllThingsD's Peter Kafka, sources at HBO and Time Warner indicate that they actually haven't begun discussions with cable/broadband providers about starting a internet add-on service for HBO Go. Despite what CEO Richard Plepler might be saying, since the company hasn't actually begun discussions, it could be awhile before we can actually see HBO Go available to non-cable subscribers.
3. Sweden Already Has It
Last August, HBO announced that they would be creating a standalone service for HBO Go...but only in Scandinavia. The service, called HBO Nordic AB, allows customers in Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark to stream HBO content that's available in the US. Best thing about the service? It's cheap: Scandinavia is notoriously expensive, but the service only costs about $12.50 a month there.
4. US Users Really Want a Standalone HBO Go App
US users want one so badly, in fact, that they've started a petition. The website, called takemymoneyhbo.com, went viral just a few hours after it went up. It prompted a tweet from HBO, which you can see below. Despite the popularity of the petition, it seems like it didn't really shift any plans at HBO.
5. It Could Lower Piracy
Piracy is a huge issue for HBO. As a paid television programmer, HBO suffers from higher piracy rates than their network and cable peers. For instance, Game of Thrones has been the most pirated television show for the past two years. Without working with services like Hulu and Netflix, HBO has a difficult time offering alternatives to watching shows live. With a standalone service, HBO Go would definitely quell some of these inflated piracy statistics.