Go ahead, share that password to your HBO Go account. HBO CEO Richard Pleper says he’s not worried about that behavior for now, knowing that it will attract more users to the service, creating more “addicts” that will gladly pay up when the time comes.
HBO’s CEO says the company isn’t ignoring the rampant password sharing, in which paying customers of its over-the-top HBO Go service let other non-paying users try the service for free. It’s just that for now, the behavior isn’t affecting the firm’s business model. While non-paying users try out the service and gradually get hooked, Pleper says the company is working on “different ways to affect password sharing” or ways to make it more challenging. Then, when it has a critical mass of freeloaders, it will institute more draconian measures to limit password sharing.
Yankee Group Senior Analyst Raúl Castañón comments
“These statements by the company’s CEO make as much sense as a submarine with screen doors. On one hand, the company was quick to launch the HBO Go app and make it available for Chromecast
; on the other hand, it is joined at the hip with the cable business model. If the only way to access HBO content is with a cable subscription, it becomes irrelevant if you are a paid subscriber or borrowing someone else’s password. Once HBO figures out a way to limit or prevent password sharing, its subscriber base will remain the same because it doesn’t have a business model that works for the ‘new generation,’ i.e., one not tied to a cable subscription. The difference between fashionably late and late to the game is called HBO Go; this is a good example that going mobile does not mean launching a mobile app, but rather redefining your market strategy around mobility.”