Netflix may provide a must-have app for your iPad, but it looks like it’s not going to have any such luck providing users with HBO content—HBO instead wants to build off its subscription service and release an exclusive iPad app, according to a report from Bloomberg. Meanwhile, Verizon is also in the midst of developing an iPad app that will allow its FiOS home broadband subscribers to stream live content, though initially only in their own homes.
Exclusivity makes consumers cry, HBO
HBO co-president Eric Kessler told Bloomberg on Tuesday that the company was hesitant to make any sort of deal with Netflix (as cable channel Epix did last week). While Netflix and HBO have a deal in place for physical media such as DVDs, Kessler believes “there is value in exclusivity” regarding online streaming, and he wants to focus the company’s efforts in this region solely toward HBO subscribers.
Currently, HBO Go allows subscription holders to watch up to 800 hours a month of original television programming (currently offered on the Website are popular dramas Entourage and True Blood), sports, and older theatrical releases on their desktop or laptop computer. Within six months, however, HBO plans on expanding the service to include streaming to the iPad and other mobile devices.
The company’s newly stated intentions collide somewhat unfortunately with Netflix’s current platform, which would ideally have customers pay for one streaming service and receive all content from there. Sadly, companies such as HBO—worried about consumers cutting the cord on cable and selecting online services like Hulu Plus and Netflix—may be opting instead for separate tie-in services to keep their market intact.
If you’re an HBO subscriber, well, this is just an added bonus; the rest of us will look on enviously while we wait for the latest Deadwood DVDs to come in the mail.
Verizon wants the iPad to stream live content… but only in your house
On Wednesday, Verizon showcased a series of new video applications, including a prototype iPad app—not unlike the one Dish Network is planning—that would stream live content from customers’s cable TV subscriptions to their iPads.
While most of the app’s technical work is finished, the implementation into homes is still six months away—Verizon has yet to make deals with all its content providers to ensure they feel comfortable having the content streamed on other devices (read: not a television).
In addition, when the app does finally become available, FiOS subscribers will only be able to watch their programming on an iPad within their own homes. This allows Verizon to verify that the person streaming the video is, in fact, the person paying for the subscription. This is mentioned as only the initial part of the rollout, so hopefully Verizon can figure out a way in the future to authenticate subscribers without necessarily chaining an iPad to a customer’s living room.
Assuming all content providers get on board, Verizon’s iPad app is slated to launch in early 2011 alongside a Video on Demand cloud rental and purchase service. The VOD service will initially only be available for Windows Mobile 6.5 phones as well as the Droid X, Droid 2, and Blackberry Storm, but Verizon hopes to add the iPhone and other mobile devices to that list at some point down the line.
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