Starz App to Follow the Trail Blazed by HBO Go
When Starz decided not to renew their deal with Netflix back in September, I mentioned that my money was on Starz emulating HBO and going their own way with an independent streaming service and app. Starz President Chris Albrecht recently announced that Starz would be making a big digital push in 2012, including launching an app that would stream Starz content to digital devices. Given the amount of attention HBO gets from its HBO Go app, Starz’s interest in taking a similar approach to the market is not that surprising. What is surprising is the suggestion that the company might try offering Starz directly to subscribers without being bundled into a package of cable channels or even without a cable subscription as part of an Internet access bundle. I can imagine the company splitting the difference by taking a page from ESPN’s playbook to create an online-only streaming channel similar to ESPN3.
Now we have confirmation from Starz President Chris Albrecht that a mobile app is on the roadmap for 2012. Not only that, but Albrecht said at an investor conference in New York yesterday that Starz is also open to offering a service not tied to a cable TV subscription. This may be a warning shot at operators who are blocking HBO Go on the Roku.