HBO has warned cord-cutters looking to escape the tyranny of cable not to ever expect to see its shows on streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, with the company having no plans to offer its HBO Go app to non-subscribers. HBO co-president Eric Kessler reiterated that the company would continue to offer its programming solely as an upgrade to traditional cable and satellite subscribers, mocoNews reports, arguing that the trend of canceling such services would turn around when the economy improves.
Hulu and Netflix are competitors, Kessler suggested, and it wasn't in HBO's best interest to license its content. That's partly because piggy-backing on cable and satellite providers means the company can avoid investing in things like billing systems.
Although that means the potential subscription base is smaller than if HBO offered HBO Go access as a standalone product, Kessler believes that the company's programming strengths will be sufficient to maintain demand. Still, although many have downscaled their cable/satellite spend for economic reasons, and might jump at the chance to reconnect later, many others have grown disillusioned with paying for a huge amount of content they never get around to watching.
HBO Go was launched in April 2011 for Android and iOS devices, offering subscribers the chance to watch content while mobile. According to Kessler, 55-percent of downloads have been of the iPad version, with the remainder roughly equally split between Android handsets and the iPhone.