HBO Go, for those unfamiliar, is HBO’s online catch-up service, which allows users to view content on iOS devices, as-well as on computers. Until now, the service has been exclusive to customers who pay a cable TV subscription, but according to Reuters, the network is considering switching this, and allowing access to HBO Go without the need to pay.
This comes from the company’s CEO Richard Plepler, who suggested that the network could team up with broadband providers to provide HBO Go to customers who don’t pay a cable subscription. This comes as a response to the increase in views from online services in favor of paying for cable, or ‘cable cutting’, as it’s been nicknamed.
It’s not just cable cutting that HBO needs to worry about though, as piracy is a huge issue, with 25 million illegal downloads of its hit show Game of Thrones alone, the company needs to act on its business model to try and get as many of the people who downloaded the content illegally for free to use the likes of HBO Go. This could be done by ditching the fee to use the service, as many of the people who headed to pirated shows would simply have wanted the freedom to view the content on any device for free, something HBO doesn’t offer to those not already paying a cable subscription.