HBO has long been one of cable’s premier networks, offering a wide array of hugely popular content unrivaled by other premium channels. Unfortunately, the company said it would never (at least for now) offer shows like True Blood or The Wire to digital non-subscribers, instead remaining loyal to TV distributors.
GO, which was first offered as a browser-only service, has gained in popularity since launching as an app for phones and the iPad this past spring – 55 percent of GO downloads were from the iPad alone.
Kessler said HBO’s decision to remain part of the cable industry, rather than offer services like Netflix and Hulu, is because the company wants to focus on content, not licensing. In addition, Kessler said that consumers who are ditching cable altogether is only a temporary phenomenon.
Temporary or not, Kessler’s comments don’t change the fact that the cost of basic cable continues to rise – HBO’s current strategy relies on persuading viewers to add even more to their cable bill. Kessler is confident HBO can achieve this by offering the best content and sticking to its current model by avoiding transaction costs thanks to its partnership with cable companies.
For consumers who have become increasingly frustrated by having to pay cable providers for channels they don’t even watch, HBO’s stance is a blow. Still, as services like Netflix and Hulu has proved, cutting the cord is becoming increasingly popular, so who knows how long HBO will hold out.
Have you cut the cable cord?