HBO On-Demand Without a Cable Subscription? "Silicon Valley" Debuts on YouTube

Time Warner teases would-be HBO on-demand subscribers by screening the pilot episode of its new comedy on YouTube.

Apr 10, 2014 at 6:15PM

Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) may be getting closer to offering stand-alone HBO on-demand service, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the following video.  

How can we know? HBO is conducting more experiments with digital distribution, including placing the entire first episode of Silicon Valley, its new comedy series, on YouTube. More than 300,000 have tuned in as of this writing.

The experiment comes on the heels of another. Barely a month after an Internet simulcast of True Detective brought HBO Go to its knees, the Game of Thrones Season 4 premiere did the same. In each case, password sharing appears to have crashed HBO's servers. Hardly surprising when you consider that Game of Thrones is already the most pirated show in television.

For his part, HBO chief Richard Plepler has made it clear that he wants to find a way to offer individual HBO Go subscriptions, but only when the math makes sense. Little experiments -- like the one with Silicon Valley -- may help clarify the profit potential of stand-alone HBO on-demand service, Tim says.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. How much would you pay for a stand-alone HBO on-demand subscription? Please watch the video to get the full story, and then leave a comment to let us know your take, including whether you would buy, sell, or short Time Warner stock at current prices.

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Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Time Warner at the time of publication. Check out Tim's Web home and portfolio holdings, or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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