HBO is abandoning its classic ways of mailing out DVDs to critics and journalists and shifting to a streaming-only policy. The change comes after the first four episodes of Game of Thrones season five leaked before the premiere, most likely from an advance DVD screener.
The move was already planned, but was accelerated by the leak that made so many Game of Thronesfanatics hit online piracy sites to find out what’s going on in Westeros. The episodes were reported to have come via a watermarked DVD screener sent to the media for advance review, but the identifying watermark with the recipient number had been blurred. Now, journalists and critics will only be able to access content through HBO’s secure streaming site.
According to Variety, the change will occur Tuesday, when the next batch of Veep episodes will be made available only via streaming. As HD streaming video has come a long way, this shouldn’t be an issue. In fact, it may keep viewers safe from unwanted spoilers in the future.