HBO interested in partnerships with Apple, Google on streaming service

Netflix might be the hottest internet TV service right now, but when HBO’s own streaming service lands sometime in 2015, it is going to bring some real competition for people’s wallets and screen-time.

In order to make the transition to a web-only service as smooth as possible, HBO has been in contact with six companies, including Google, Apple, Cox Communications and Cablevision.

Apple and Google both receive a cut every time someone subscribes to a service on mobile, and HBO apparently wants that cut to be lowered before it launched a mobile or tablet app.

HBO is also working on getting the ‘HBO Now’ service installed on Apple TV, adding to HBO Go already available on the set-top box.

Cox Communications and Cablevision are both being contacted to make sure super-fast internet customers are satisfied with the video streaming service. Considering Netflix has to shell out a premium to bring US customers high-speed video, HBO is looking to skirt around the premium price.

HBO is a subsidiary of Time Warner Cable, meaning it will not have to pay a premium to TWC or Comcast. Verizon and AT&T will most likely let HBO pass without any issues either, since all of the internet service providers seem chummy when it's their own services.

HBO Now will reportedly cost $15 (£10) per month, higher than Netflix but the same price as its cable channel. This means it does not undercut cable and will not cannibalise the cable market.

Game of Thrones is the obvious selling point for HBO, meaning it might launch a week before Season 5 kicks off on 12 April. HBO has not said whether it will be US only, or available in Europe and other countries, the former would alienate a large part of the Game of Thrones audience.