The premium cabler’s addition to the Google download-to-own service will make HBO shows available to users with Android-based smartphones and tablets, as well as Google’s $35 Chromecast streaming adapter for TVs.
Seven HBO originals now available are: “Game of Thrones” season 2; “Boardwalk Empire” season 3; “The Newsroom” season 1; “True Blood” season 5; “Girls” season 2; “Veep” season 1; and “The Wire” season 5.
HBO plans to add more titles and seasons from its library to Google Play in the coming weeks. The gradual rollout is part of a marketing strategy to “create more sustained awareness,” an HBO rep said. “Rather than rushing all titles up at once, and possibly overshadowing the availability of key titles, we wanted to highlight titles as they go up, with more new content added each week over the next few months.”
Pricing for the skeins is the same as on Apple’s iTunes and other electronic sell-through services. For example, the full second season of “Game of Thrones” is $28.99 in standard-definition and $38.99 in HD via Google Play, as it is on iTunes. Single episodes are $2.99 for SD and $3.99 for HD.
Separately, HBO offers the HBO Go app for Android smartphones and tablets, available to subscribers of the premium service through their cable, satellite or telco TV provider. HBO GO provides streaming access to every HBO original series plus movies, docus, specials and other features.