The quest for expanded digital audiences has determined pay-TV giant HBO to withdraw the exclusive distribution status to Apple and launch the access apps both for Chromecast and Android devices. This latest development was announced by Sundar Pinchai, head of Google products department during the I/O annual conference for developers.
HBO Now Wants a Broader Public
Until recently, the online app for HBO programs, HBO Now, was only available from the iTunes store for Apple devices, such as the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. Starting with July 2015 this exclusivity will cease, as Google Play for Android devices will be updated to include the HBO Now app. At the same time, the Chromecast device developed by Google, which is plugged into a TV set to connect it to the internet.
The new strategy adopted by HBO is not surprising, since Android is the number one operating system for smartphone users worldwide. At the same time, the Chromecast device, priced at just $35, has over 17 million purchases all over the world and has been used for streaming by consumers for 1.5 billion times.
A Match Made in Consumer Heaven
As the top global provider of exclusive pay-TV programs, HBO has expanded its scope towards pure online services through the HBO Now division. The initial exclusive deal with Apple started on the premises that Steve Jobs’ brain child was the most innovative company in providing the world with high tech mobile devices. Indeed, the iPhone has become almost a collectible item for diehard fans, but a new big player hit the market in the meantime: Google.
Google is now much more than the top search engine for internet, with site owners worldwide bending to its rules for page ranking. The Android powered mobile phones have become the most popular devices, thanks to their brand variety, lower prices compared to Apple iPhone and large variety of free and premium apps in Google Play store.
The new distribution agreement between HBO and Google shall not be limited to Chromecast and Android, but also to Android TV and web browsers for desktop and laptop computers. As Bernadette Aulestia, EVP of HBO Domestic Network Distribution stated,
“we have seen through social media that there is great demand for the service among Android and Chromecast users and we’re excited to deliver HBO NOW to them.”
This new expansion will certainly broaden HBO audiences to the largest possible extent and establish its undisputed position of worldwide top pay-TV provider.
Image Source: HBO Now