Could someone please point me to another good or service that we as consumers buy at the PRICE WE WANT, in the DELIVERY FORMAT WE PREFER, for our CONSUMPTION WHENEVER WE PLEASE?
This is essentially what we are asking HBO for with the new #takemymoneyhbo movement.
When it comes to the web, there are two things that really get under my skin: first, people who believe it’s OK to pirate content and second, people who believe that all content should be free and/or ridiculously cheap. The standard excuse: I don’t want to wait to see Game of Thrones Season 2!” isn’t good enough. Imagine if I said to a police officer: “I don’t want to wait to have enough money to buy this Chanel handbag, so I’m just going to take it.”
Stealing is stealing. Just because something exists doesn’t mean you have a right to it.
The HBO Go debate is now rocketing through the web thanks to #takemymoneyhbo and the myriad blog posts that have come out of it. I’ll proudly say that I fall solidly on the unpopular opinion side of this debate.
If HBO told you, dear internet masses, that HBO GO could be delivered to you for a monthly fee of $44.95 a month, would you pay it?
They won’t say this, because in fact you can get HBO GO with your cable subscription for roughly $75 a month. And here’s why: HBO is subsidized by the cable companies. The marketing, delivery, technical installation and support, etc. are on the books of the cable companies. They pay those bills. As a result, HBO can focus on what they do best: creating stellar content.
I’m a cable subscriber and I pay $60 a month for the standard channels. I then pay an additional $15.99 for HBO, which I watch 5 times per week. That’s a grand total of $75.99 per month (plus tax) divided by 27 episodes of my favorite shows (5 on HBO, one on HGTV, one on PBS) for a grand total of $2.81 per episode per month. (I won’t even factor in that my boyfriend watches all these shows with me PLUS several History Channel programs, so it effectively cuts our costs in half.) And you know what? I am happy to pay this premium because I know that these programs cost a ton to make. Why do I hand over my hard-earned money for my cable subscription each month? First, because I think it’s entirely fair that a person who is PAYING GOOD MONEY to watch something first should be able to watch it before people who don’t want to pay for it. Second, I can’t help but notice the similarities between the models many of you suggest and the destruction of the newspaper industry. For the sake of transparency, I started my career as a journalist.
The news industry has been destroyed by the proliferation of “free content” on the web. Remember that idea about subsidizing content? Before newspapers went to the web, advertising and classifieds essentially subsidized the business of making news content. Large publishing houses owned newspapers across the country and split the pot to support the content.
Then, the Internet demanded that the model change. Except, as it turns out, the model can’t be sustained by the current strategies utilized on the web. If you think the New York Times has the answer because of their paywall, you’re wrong there too, because sites like the Huffington Post (which is subsidized by advertising) can now win a Pulitzer for aggregating that content and offering it up for free.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the web. I WANT it to be easy and affordable to consume what I need. But we as a society have to understand that making GREAT SHIT COSTS a SHIT TON.
For years, people have said: “Oh, if I COULD pay for quality content online, I WOULD.” Take My Money HBO proves that this sentiment lives on. Unfortunately, it turns out that majority of you would pay on average just $12 a month for that content. The price you are willing to pay doesn’t actually add up.
Think about it: The first season of Game of Thrones has a production budget of $60 million. If you are all willing to pay $12 a month, it takes 5 million people just to pay for Game of Thrones. Never mind ALL the other programming, marketing, technical support, etc. that HBO would have to cough up to deliver it to your laptop. And I won’t even begin to address the fact that HBO currently airs no advertising. HBO would be losing the TV revenues generated by being tied to the cable companies.
I’m convinced that the American public would like to turn content production into the dollar menu at McDonald’s. We are addicted to cheap, cheap, cheap in this country and it’s simply unsustainable.
I’ll leave you with this: if you want HBO GO, you can get it. NO ONE is stopping you. It will probably cost $60-$80 a month, depending on where you live. But guess what? It’s worth it.