Google Play adds HBO’s Game of Thrones and 6 other shows
It’s not TV, it’s HBO on your cell phone.
The creator and broadcaster of some of the most popular and critically-acclaimed television programs has finally released them to Google Play. Starting immediately, users of Android phones and tablets can download individual shows or full seasons of TV hits that include Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, The Newsroom, Girls, Veep, True Blood, and The Wire. Google has hinted via Twitter that more news is on the way regarding its budding partnership with the network, including the inclusion of its documentary programming and original films like the Liberace docudrama Behind the Candelabra.
A la carte prices are $1.99 or $2.99 for individual episodes in standard definition. HD adds about a dollar to the price tag to those prices, and full seasons run $14.99 to $34.99. All Google Play prices are in line with those on other streaming services, including Amazon’s video service. Also, as with other services, current season programming is not available, but all prior seasons are on offer.
These shows will be viewable on any Android device, including a wide range of Qualcomm Snapdragon-equipped smart phones and tablets. The programs are also viewable on Google’s new Chromecast streaming adapter, which plugs directly into your TV.
This is another step in the increasingly fluid nature of entertainment consumption. Today’s consumers may start a show in their living room, watch another 15 minutes while tucked into bed, then finish the episode on their phones while waiting in line at the post office. The Google Play news just gives movie and TV junkies another venue to satisfy their cravings.
If you’re already an HBO subscriber, the HBO Go app is also an option to consider. The primary difference between the two systems is that HBO Go offers not just prior seasons but also new episodes from the current seasons of HBO’s original programming. The entire back catalogues of shows no longer on the air, including The Sopranos, Oz, and The Wire are also included on the HBO Go app, but are not yet available on Google Play. With HBO Go, users don’t have to pay extra for these episodes; they’re included as part of the subscription. If you’re hooked on these shows, the $10 to $20 per month you’d invest in an HBO cable subscription (depending on your cable carrier) might be more cost-effective than buying them a la carte. Game of Thrones junkies, on the other hand, will want to snap these episodes up before, you know, winter comes.