HBO NOW Launches Ahead of ‘Game of Thrones’ Premiere

The new streaming service provides access to original HBO films and shows, as well as new movies

HBO launched its brand new streaming service, HBO NOW, on Apple or Optimum Online on Tuesday, less than a week ahead of the Season 5 premiere of “Game of Thrones.”

The premium network’s standalone streaming service provides subscribers with instant access to HBO’s original programming of past or present, much like HBO Go, which is only available to those who pay for the TV channel.

If audiences are curious for a taste of critically acclaimed series “True Detective,” “Silicon Valley,” and “Veep,”as well as classics like “The Sopranos,” “Sex and the City,” “True Blood,” and “The Wire,” they can access them all —  along with original HBO films, documentaries, comedy and music specials, and the latest Hollywood movies — for $14.99 a month.

Customers who sign up for HBO NOW in April will enjoy a 30-day introductory free trial period.

Until very recently, HBO has only existed as a premium offering to cable and satellite subscribers. But the combination of the strength and popularity of HBO’s original content, and the very real problem of piracy prompted the network to become the first premium pay TV programmer to step over the cable gatekeepers and offer its service directly to consumers.