Cord cutters who want HBO's new over-the-top service HBO Now just gained another option: Verizon is offering the service to its FiOS and high-speed Internet customers for a 30-day free trial, starting today. The company also plans to offer HBO Now on its upcoming mobile video platform.
"Our customers want choice in accessing premium content when and where they choose, on a variety of devices," said Ben Grad, executive director of content strategy and acquisition for Verizon in a press release. "HBO Now brings compelling content and choice to Verizon broadband customers today--and exciting possibilities for HBO content within Verizon's pending mobile video service."
HBO senior VP Jeff Dallesandro said in the same press release "We're excited to evolve our partnership with Verizon and bring HBO programming to a new generation of broadband-only customers."
HBO Now, which costs $15 per month, launched last April as an exclusive offering with Apple's Apple TV streaming box. Cablevision became the first ISP to offer the service when that period of exclusivity ended.
Why this matters: Consumers are increasingly tired of paying for huge bundles of channels--and renting equipment--in order to get the few chunks of programming they really want. But content providers such as HBO, afraid to bite the hand that feeds them, have been reluctant to offer stand-alone services.
HBO's management is likely happy with to move beyond that reluctance. One analyst estimates that HBO Now already has more than one million customers. Verizon, for its part, doesn't have a bundle-based pay-TV service. So it and has little to lose and plenty to gain by adding HBO Now to its product lineup.
Meanwhile, Comcast--the biggest pay-TV provider in the U.S.--is taking a wholly different tack: Its new Comcast Stream service includes HBO, broadcast, and a selection of movies for the same price as HBO Now. You find an in-depth analysis of Comcast Stream here.