10:57 am EDT, October 15, 2014

HBO to launch standalone HBO Go service in 2015

Speaking at Time Warner Investor Day on Wednesday morning, HBO head Richard Plepler announced that next year you’ll finally be able to watch HBO without a cable subscription.

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HBO will release a standalone version of HBO Go, their streaming service, for those who are not subscribed to a cable company in 2015.

When making the announcement, Plelper said that the goal is to reach the 80 million homes that they haven’t yet reached.

“It is time to remove all barriers to those who want HBO,” he said, “so, in 2015, we will launch a stand-alone, over-the-top, HBO service in the United States. We will work with our current partners. And, we will explore models with new partners. All in, there are 80 million homes that do not have HBO and we will use all means at our disposal to go after them.”

For years HBO has faced criticism for not being available to consumers unless they have a cable subscription. The launch of HBO Go in 2010 brought even more questions about why the pay cabler wouldn’t open up to people who don’t have a subscription to a cable company. Unsurprisingly, it was the cable companies who were pressuring HBO to require a cable subscription.

By launching a standalone service, HBO Go will be competing against Netflix, the online streaming leader who in recent years has launched a string of original programming.

Will HBO Go’s standalone service make you rethink your at-home cable set up?

HBO is best known for several stellar shows at the moment: Game of Thrones, True Detective, The Newsroom, and John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight.

The availability of a standalone service will surely make people question if they need a cable subscription when they can have access to most of their programming through Hulu and HBO Go.

Now it’s time to see channels like FX, AMC, and Showtime make similar announcements.

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