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HBO Go vs. HBO Now: What’s The Difference Between HBO’s Two Streaming Services?

16 March 2015, 8:41 pm EDT By James Geddes Tech Times
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HBO Go and HBO Now are both streaming services from the most popular online pay cable network, but what is the difference between the two?

When Apple made its big announcement on March 9, the news across the world's headlines was the imminent release and pricing of its highly anticipated Apple Watch. That wasn't the only big news, as Apple also announced an exclusive deal with HBO to offer its new stand-alone streaming service, HBO Now.

With HBO also providing another streaming service called HBO Go, consumers are wondering what the difference is between the two services. The distinction is not in content, which is expected to be very similar, if not identical. Subscribers of each service will have access to HBO's library of films as well as exclusive series like Game Of Thrones and Girls, in addition to music, documentaries and sports presentations on the network.

The difference between the streaming services lies in who may subscribe, and for now, the platforms on which they are available. HBO Go is exclusively for HBO subscribers, that is, cable customers who pay a premium each month to receive the channel on their cable system. That premium now includes a subscription to HBO Go, which streams digital HBO content across various platforms.

HBO Now, the new service beginning in April, is a stand-alone service for consumers who do not have cable but want access to HBO programming. Subscribers to HBO Now can watch HBO digital streaming content on various services for a flat $15 per month fee. At launch HBO Now will be available on iOS devices. While you can watch HBO Now programming on an iPad or iPhone, Apple is hoping that its exclusive deal with HBO Now inspires consumers to purchase its Apple TV streaming box, the price of which was lowered from $99 to $69 in conjunction with the announcement.

The exclusivity agreement between Apple and HBO Now lasts only three months, and after it expires the service should become available on all the same platforms that support HBO Go, like Android smartphones and tablets, Google Chromecast, Roku, and Amazon's Fire TV.

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