HBO’s hottest shows are coming to Google Play, but does it really matter?

hbo now offers its coveted shows on google play but does it matter go android app

It doesn’t take a media analyst to know that Game of Thrones is huge. It’s easily one of the most popular shows on cable, and according to a report by Variety, garnered a total Nielsen rating of around 13-14 million viewers per episode last season. So that makes HBO’s announcement this week that the company will begin offering Game of Thrones and six other popular shows for purchase a la carte through Google Play a pretty big deal…or does it? After years of hoarding its digital content like pirate gold, will HBO’s latest move even make a blip on the online radar?

Take our group of friends, for instance. Of the huge percentage of people in our personal and professional circles who watch Game of Thrones (nearly all of them), an extremely slim percent have been catching the show on HBO, or the subscription required HBO-Go. Cord-cutters for life, the majority of our normally law-abiding friends and family have been “appropriating” episodes of Game of Thrones for years, stockpiling racy scenes of the lovely Daenerys, and gore shots of Tyrion’s battle axe for review any time they choose, even though older episodes have been readily available at iTunes. HBO Go Android App

Enter Google Play, the most recently added legal method for acquiring episodes of Game of Thrones, as well as The Newsroom, Boardwalk Empire, Girls, Veep, True Blood, and The Wire, for around $2-3 per episode, without an HBO subscription (the same as iTunes). But will an added portal for legal purchase suddenly rally all those hardened media hustlers to start spending hard-earned currency for it? Somehow we doubt it. Fans still have to wait for months to get the latest episodes if they want to go straight. To make an impact, a fair number of the torrent crowd would have to decide to toe the line and buy HBO’s online content, along with a crowd of all new converts who’ve been waiting for a legal way outside of Apple’s walled garden to get in on the action. 

Of course, it’s safe to assume both HBO and Google have considered all of this. It seems their new deal may be less of a big play for the cord-cutting audience today, and more of a strategic move in a much bigger fight for the future. For HBO, which makes almost all of its nut on subscribers, the deal provides a new stream of revenue that wasn’t getting tapped, as well as near a risk-free experiment in a la carte sales to Google Play fans. And for Google, it’s one more feather in Chromecast’s cap — a battle blow in the greater war for set-top box supremacy against its rivals.

While HBO and Google’s new partnership is an interesting development, for now, we’re skeptical of how much it will change the online landscape. How about you? If Google Play is your bag, do you plan on laying down some cash for your Game of Thrones fix? Where do you see this latest development leading? Let us know.

Movies & TV

Why ruin a good thing? These are some of the worst movie sequels ever made

A sequel that doesn't compare to the original film isn't worth making, right? Unfortunately, this is Hollywood we're talking about. We've picked out 12 films which will go down as some of the worst follow-ups ever made.
Deals

The best iPad deals for December 2018

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for December 2018.
Deals

The best iPhone deals for December 2018

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for December 2018.
Movies & TV

Lose the torrents. Here's how to watch 'Game of Thrones' online (legally)

Game of Thrones is one of the most popular shows on TV, but unless you're a cable subscriber, finding a way to watch isn't always easy. Check out our guide on how to watch online, whether you prefer using HBO, Hulu, or Amazon.
Movies & TV

HBO Go vs. HBO Now: Which streaming service is right for you?

If you're looking to get access to HBO, you might be comparing HBO Go and HBO Now. We break down the differences between the twin streaming services and see how they compare to one another.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Home Theater

Fluance’s four beautiful new turntables arrive with easy-to-stomach prices

Acclaimed audio brand Fluance launched four new turntables as part of its new Reference series, aiming to offer elegant looks and pristine sound to those who are just getting into the world of high-end analog audio.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Godzilla,’ Brightburn,’ ‘Triple Frontier,’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's the first trailers for Brightburn and Triple Frontier, among other previews.
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: Alfonso Cuaron’s ‘Roma, ‘Sabrina’ special

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: Alfonso Cuaron's new film Roma, Jim Henson's classic fantasy The Dark Crystal, and more.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our 10 favorites.
Home Theater

What’s new on Amazon Prime Video (January 2019)

Amazon Prime Video adds new titles each month that are available for free to all Prime members. Check out our list to find all the content hitting Amazon Prime Video in December 2018 and January 2019, from new original series to classic…
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.