Originally Posted by Utopianemo
HBO and the like need to dump cable-centric delivery models and find a way to survive online.
No, they don't "need" to. You might want them to, but they don't need to just because you want them to.
They make far more money in the current environment than they would sending it out online - even counting in a pay model. Further, cord cutters tend to be cord cutters because they tend to want to only want to pay the minimal cost to get only the content they want. That makes them fickle. Yes, I said it: fickle. You'd be all happy to stream HBO and pay for it when Game of Thrones or other compelling shows are on, but you're not likely to stick with it when that stuff isn't there. After all, other services have that stuff and more through various means in a cheaper, all you can eat package. Why pay for HBO when the shows are in hiatus when Netflix has movies and TV shows, your Amazon prime account has movies and TV shows, Hulu has movies and TV shows...are you going to pay for all that and HBO when the content is all stuff from the archives?
On the other hand, TV subscribers tend to stick with HBO even during the slow times because it's a small fee compared to their cable bill overall. $15-$20 a month is easier to eat when you're paying $80 or more on top of that for cable. It's much easier to justify it. It's like buying a car: if you need to pay $1000 for the sport package to get the fancy aluminum wheels, it's a lot easier to eat the cost on a $30,000 car than an $18,000 one. After all, it's nothing compared to the rest of the monthly payment.
What that means is, HBO could potentially be trading steady customers for seasonal ones. Those that pay in regardless of content are what pay all the bills.
Unfortunately, until the current system completely collapses, there's no motivation at all for them to do what you want. The media companies are going to ride it out as long as they can, too - and that might be a while. Despite the number of people going online and pronouncing they've cut the cord, there are still well over 150 million people subscribing to pay TV. That amounts to around 80% of the TV viewing audience. That includes plenty of people who pretty much only watch OTA programming, can access the OTA signal, yet pay the cable company anyway.
If those folks aren't cutting the cord yet, why would the very many less savvy viewers out there go to (and pay for) a streaming model that is fundamentally different than the linear model they currently get? Right now, there are plenty of people that know "X" show is on "Channel Z" at "Y Time". Having to seek it out individually would make their brains melt.
It's all well and good for young people who have never had cable to never get it, but there are a lot of entrenched people who have always had cable and can't imagine life without it. There's more of them than there are of you right now.
One final thing to consider:
People here talk about watching this show or that via a streaming service, happy in the knowledge that they don't pay for cable. My question is: where do you think that programming comes from and how do you think it gets paid for? Hint: it isn't paid for by an $8/month Netflix service. While Netflix may be able to spread out the cost of a couple of original series among their subscribers, there's no way they'll pass that kind of cash to AMC or other networks to get those shows directly.
So, how does all that stuff get paid for if nobody wants to pay for it?Edited by NetworkTV - 3/8/13 at 1:55pm