TV

HBO GO Won’t Go the Netflix Way

A few people have asked me if I’ve been keeping up with Girls, and what I think about it, or what kind of money conversations I would have with each of the characters. I had only seen the first episode, because HBO made it available on YouTube, and I don’t have cable service, nor a television. I did not like the first episode.

But you can’t always judge a show by its pilot, and I went searching on iTunes and Amazon to download episodes of the show. They weren’t available. How was everyone watching it?

They were doing what Hannah Horvath would probably do, which was watching pirated episodes, or sharing HBO GO accounts with their friends. Why was HBO making it so difficult to watch one of their programs? Were they considering offering a streaming service to non-HBO cable subscribers?

Ted Sarandos, the chief content officer at Netflix, said that HBO was going to become like Netflix, so Netflix had to come up with some great original programming to stay competitive with HBO.

Sarandos might be wrong. HBO probably doesn’t want to offer a Netflix-like streaming service, and Derek Thompson explains why at The Atlantic, which is basically: HBO isn’t going to make a lot of money offering a streaming service unless you are willing to pay a ton of money, so they’re not going to do it.

So, if I’m going to catch up on Girls, I’ll have to go to a friend’s house to watch DVR’d episodes, or borrow someone’s HBO GO account. Who’s sharing? [via]

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7 Comments / Post A Comment

Megano! (#124)

I was just reading about this, and the main reason they’re not is because they don’t want to alienate the cable companies that offer their service. Althougu obviously offering a streaming service is what they’re going to have to do eventually.

jfruh (#161)

@Megano! and one very specific reason they don’t want to alienate them is that the calbe companies do much of HBO’s promotion and handle all of its billing with individual customers. That’s a huge infrastructure they’d have to rebuild in-house if they were going to start selling their wares directly to TV viewers.

ccq (#1,175)

who LOVES lilyhammer on netflix.

this girl!

Darkest_of_Dawn (#1,176)

One of the few benefits of living with the ‘rents: free cable with all movie channels and a DVR all to myself.

AnnieNilsson (#406)

We’ve been getting our HBO fix by having a TV party once a week at a friend’s house. His apartment came with a big screen bolted to the wall and all the channels. It’s way more fun to watch TV like that anyway, as an event.

But I think HBO is being a big stupid baby for not letting us buy its damn shows. I would totally pay for a streaming subscription, but I won’t pay for all the crap that comes with cable.

km1312 (#213)
pissy elliott (#844)

@km1312 HBO is very willing to take your money! Through a subscription.

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