HBO has taken a large step into the digital realm with the launch of its HBO Go streaming service. The new service provides 600 hours of movies and HBO series that can be streamed live and in high definition. HBO Go is only available to HBO’s subscribers and Verizon FiOS customers.
The service is not intended to attract a new audience, says HBO President Eric Kessler. The subscriber-only service is designed to enhance the experience of HBO’s current subscriber base. Said Kessler:
“We’re a subscription service, and our ongoing overarching objective is to enhance the service to make it better . . . It’s about enhancing the satisfaction and continuing the life cycle of the subscriber.”
Despite the rapid growth of online video viewing among the general public, especially the rising number of consumers without cable television, HBO has decided to stay with its old model of content distribution through cable and telecommunications companies. Said Kessler:
“We have a relationship with the cable providers. They have 100 million users, and they literally have tens of thousands of customer service representatives on the phone selling HBO every single day . . . That is a tremendous benefit to us.”
Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey, however, believes an online-only video subscription could be easily implemented and could be very likely in the future. Said McQuivey:
“HBO is simply putting a system in place, and at a later date, when enough consumers are viewing online video, they could easily integrate an online only membership further down the road.”
Insiders, would such a service entice you to subscribe to HBO? What if the service was made available with an online-only option? Let us know what you think in the comments.