Why HBO streaming service is welcome

HBO is the latest company taking advantage of the shift to streaming, a smart decision.

Martha Pietruszewski

The time has finally come where you can watch shows on HBO without having to steal your parents’ cable subscription.

Apple and HBO recently announced a new partnership that would allow a standalone streaming service called HBO Now on Apple devices for $14.99 per month. The “Game of Thrones” fan and business student in me thinks HBO is making the right decision.

Cutting ties with your cable company seems more appealing every day. You are paying $99 per month for several channels you may want but don’t actually need. Some of the shows that exist on these extraneous channels can already be found on other streaming services.

While the cost of becoming a member of all of these streaming services may add up over the long run, it’s more beneficial than standard cable because of the convenience factor. If there’s a show you want to watch at a certain time on cable, you have to plan your schedule around it. Once the show becomes available on a streaming service, it becomes easier to watch because it’s available whenever and wherever is convenient for you.

Plus, you’re paying for the shows you actually want, not the ones you don’t need. For example, I pay $15 per month for HBO Now and $9 per month for Netflix. That’s only $25 for a wealth of shows I can watch whenever I want.

While HBO announcing its service seems really cool, the company is certainly not the first to create a streaming service. It follows the likes of Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime.

It may seem that HBO is behind the curve, but waiting this long was actually a smart decision. Here’s why: If you’re like me, you already have subscriptions to Netflix and Amazon Prime. So what’s one more streaming service?

HBO wanted to make sure the demand for its product was there before it was released. It’s like the old saying — “If you build it, they will come.”

Early technology adopters and innovators are willing to pay for HBO Now because it’s the next cool and trendy thing. These consumers want to be the first people to have something, not the last on the block. Eventually, it will seep through to the majority of people seeking a streaming service.

Besides “Game of Thrones” and “The Wire,” HBO offers documentaries about important moments in history. If you feel the need to take a break from marathoning your favorite show, try getting a history lesson.

However, I realize that having three streaming services in your arsenal will not solve all of your TV needs. What about live sports? If you cut ties with your cable company, you may lose out on big games — including Gophers sports. And don’t even get me started on live awards shows.

Cable companies will be reluctant to accept the fact that many people are cutting the cord completely. I believe that to fully embrace the world of online streaming, there needs to be a better system in place for live broadcasts.

HBO has your back because HBO Now launches just in time for “Game of Thrones” on April 12.