HBO Go is the successor to HBO on Broadband, which was originally launched in January 2008 to Time Warner Cable customers in Green Bay and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Programming content available on the service consisted of 400 hours of feature and HBO original television films (including 130 movie titles that rotated monthly), specials and original series that could be downloaded to computers, at no extra charge for HBO subscribers; in order to access HBO on Broadband content, users had to be a digital cable customer that had a subscription to HBO, and used their cable company as their internet service provider.
At launch, the service was accessible only on personal computers via the HBO website. Applications for iOS and Android devices were released on April 29, 2011, making the service available on smartphones and tablet computers. The app had over one million downloads in its first week, and was downloaded over three million times by the end of June 2011.
In October 2011, Roku streaming players became the first television-connected devices to support the service, and availability was later rolled out to the Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation consoles, SamsungSmart TVs, and Xbox consoles. Availability on set-top boxes and gaming consoles is determined by individual cable providers in the United States with some omissions. Currently Charter Communications does not support the Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV, and Comcast does not support the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Fire TV and did not support Roku players until late 2014.Sling TV subscribers who receive HBO through that service are unable to access HBO GO, since HBO's live feed and on-demand content is available through the Sling TV apps. The same also applies to PlayStation Vue subscribers except they also have access to HBO Now.
On October 15, 2014, following a trial of a similar service in Nordic Europe, HBO announced that it planned to launch an over-the-top subscription service in 2015, which would allow "cord cutters", "cord nevers", and subscribers to basic cable packages to subscribe to HBO without requiring either a subscription to a pay television provider or to a premium bundle. The decision marks a significant change to HBO's business model, as the service will be marketed directly to consumers rather than through television providers. The new offering will primarily target "cord cutters" and "cord nevers", who primarily use online video services, such as Netflix or Hulu, to stream video content and television programming rather than subscribing to a cable television or satellite provider. The new service, HBO Now, was officially unveiled on March 9, 2015 for a launch in April of that year, with mobile and digital media player support exclusive to Apple devices at launch.
The over-the-top service was launched in Latin America in June 2017, although under the name HBO Go.
HBO Go streams a selection of theatrically released films (via film studios that maintain distribution deals with HBO including 20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures and network sister company Warner Bros. Pictures) with a significant number of titles added and removed from the service every month. HBO original series are available on a permanent basis. New episodes of current series are typically available for streaming beginning at the time of their initial broadcast in the Eastern Time Zone on the linear HBO channel.
However, HBO Go does not carry several past HBO series, such as Tales from the Crypt, Tenacious D, 1st & Ten, Arliss, Da Ali G Show, or The Ricky Gervais Show. Moreover, unlike TV Everywhere services offered by most other broadcast and cable-satellite television networks, HBO Go does not provide access to near-real-time streams of HBO's linear channels. (Max Go, the TV Everywhere service of sister premium service Cinemax, also does not offer streams of any of that network's linear television channels.)