HBO CEO Wants You To Share Your Account: “We’re In The Business Of Creating Addicts”
HBO has slowly but surely been warming to online distribution of its programming, even for free. A new interview with the networks CEO shows that it plans to continue that progression- but not forever.
Speaking at a Buzzfeed event, HBO CEO Richard Plepler said that the company actually supports users sharing access to their online content… for now.
“It’s not that we’re unmindful of it, it just has no impact on the business,” [...] It is, in many ways, a “terrific marketing vehicle for the next generation of viewers,” he said, noting that it could potentially lead to more subscribers in the future.
“We’re in the business of creating addicts,” he said at a BuzzFeed Brews event in New York.
Plepler makes clear that HBO is playing the part of a dealer or pusher- the first hit is free, but the implication is, once you’re hooked, the price goes up.
Currently, HBO still requires users to have a cable subscription to access HBO Go, their online offering. But the next logical step is to offer a standalone online subscription to HBO.
Recently, an HBO executive referred to piracy as “a kind of compliment,” and said it hasn’t hurt DVD sales. And the company recently began selling episodes of its original series a la carte through the Google Play Store. So clearly, the company has seen the monetary benefits of people viewing their content, no matter the circumstances.