Netflix has gleefully poked a stick at its competitors in the video streaming market, after revealing it had added more than seven million subscribers to its service in the last three months of 2016.
HBO also got a special mention. In a letter to shareholders, the company's boss Reed Hastings teased the TV drama maker by noting that, if the BBC was willing to stream shows before they air on television, then maybe HBO—which has rigidly stuck to its strategy of eking out episodes to viewers—should do the same. He said:
the BBC has become the first major linear network to announce plans to go binge-first with new seasons, favouring Internet over linear viewers. We presume HBO is not far behind the BBC.
In short, it’s becoming an Internet TV world, which presents both challenges and opportunities for Netflix as we strive to earn screen time.
But it's worth noting that HBO currently has an exclusive deal with Sky in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, and Italy, allowing the broadcaster to have first-run rights on the likes of Game of Thrones and Westworld until 2020—so any such change isn't likely to happen in the near-term.