Some people may view the mobile and online app HBO GO as a good idea with limited appeal, which is fair, since not everyone can use it, even those who currently subscribe to HBO. Some wish they could buy the app without needing a cable subscription. There are plenty of criticisms of HBO's application, but according to co-president Eric Kessler, HBO GO has seen over 98 million streams since its launch early last year. So people who can use it are using it a lot, and HBO decided to take a gamble that it might hurt full-season disc-set sales for their original programs, but subscriptions will always rule their financial model.
HBO GO Is Another Risky Move That Has Paid Off
We talked about CBS' live streaming of their college football coverage before, something that many networks have been reluctant to do with major sporting events because they fear the loss of overall TV viewers, and hence, advertising revenue. But in many cases it makes sense to have both online and TV available, because not everyone has access to certain programming at any given time. The HBO GO app is great for people who are looking to pass the time, say, at an airport.
It's not just HBO's original programming, which accounts for 70 percent of the streams on the app, but they have a huge selection of movies to choose from on this app as well. When you mobility to the equation, it adds value to getting an HBO subscription.
And I'm not so sure that the app even eats that much into their full season sales anyway. Those who have HBO and an On Demand service have always been able to watch their shows almost any time they want, even though there are certain limitations.
As for that possibility of a direct-to-consumer possibility, the Video Nuze article says that Kessler and HBO are still committed to their cable providers, because of the promotion and support that they offer. They don't want to get into a situation where people start cutting cable because they can buy the HBO GO app, at least not yet.