Everyone knew HBO would go cable free. It was not complicated math. As soon as the amount of expected (cablefree) subscription revenue was greater than the lost cable revenue from going over the top, HBO would be off to the races. Now, HBO is owned by people who own other channels so if people ditch cable it hurts other revenue. HBO is a lynchpin in peoples decision to get cable. Therefore it is more complicated with more variables but it essentially is just a question of how to make the most money.
The nonsense about HBO getting free marketing from cable companies is just that; nonsense. Game of Thrones generates ten times the marketing that their dumb ads do. They were pretty conservative in waiting so long but the time to go was here and everyone expects the other networks to follow. They are like cows and just follow the herd. Ask the cable installers, kids do not get cable, HBO could not wait much longer. But the Apple deal still makes no sense to me.
Apple forked over some cash to be the exclusive HBO Now partner for three months. What does Apple get for their hard earned cash? Are they expecting people to buy apple phones and throw android phones away in these three months? Um no, people who currently have HBO can wait the three months to ditch cable and people without cable obviously don’t want HBO that badly. Are they getting rid of inventory? That is ridiculous. The company has excellent inventory control and I doubt selling a $69 device is that big a deal. And if the big Apple-subscription launch is in June, as well as a new rumored device, why not wait? And I don’t understand the other side of the deal, what does HBO get, besides some cash? Wouldn’t they want everyone to be able to buy HBO Now and not just Apple owners. I don’t get it. Why are they limiting the launch, It feels like I am missing something.
There is going to be a big fight for space on TV or however people are watching shows. Yahoo, Amazon, AOL and everyone else has a lot to gain. Fox, ABC, Disney etc have a lot to lose. Spending 4 billion for Star Wars and millions for the Marvel properties was a good move. Those properties are going to be even more valuable when everyone is in the TV game. Disney is one smart cookie.
Any why does everyone in Silicon Valley refer to shows as content, they are shows.