Netflix is, by far, the biggest name in online video streaming. It’s responsible for stunning amounts of Internet traffic, has a sky-high stock price… and is hated by the major studios for breaking their home video model. And now, HBO Go is gearing up to try and take it down.
Jeff Bewkes, CEO of Time Warner, recently weighed in on his plans for HBO Go, and it sounds, suspiciously, like he wants to tackle Netflix, according to Deadline:
“Should offerings be determined for consumers based on what a company owns?” he asked rhetorically. “That’s not how consumers arrange their dial….We’re anticipating people might want more than that.” The Time Warner chief says that HBO is “investing in top talent, software developers in Seattle” to improve on what’s already “a very good consumer experience.”
Bewkes also notes he’s not opposed to Dish’s idea of just selling people live channel streams over the Internet, although he did say he views all this as an “additive” service, which likely boils down to “SUBSCRIBE TO CABLE DAMMIT!” And therein, of course, lies the problem.
A lot of streaming video services have tried to compete with Netflix, but again and again, the problem that comes up is that you have to have a cable subscription, which is a bit like demanding cars be sold with some horseshoes in the trunk. It’s difficult to see how HBO Go, a service built to, well, stream content from a cable channel, wouldn’t have this requirement, although HBO itself is surprisingly cool with not being tied to a cable subscription.
Still, it’s a fascinating idea, and hopefully one that has some follow-through, even if it’s just a collection of premium cable shows in one place. Really, who doesn’t want to follow up some Rust Coehle with Eva Green committing gratuitous acts of air sex?