HBO Now First Thoughts
Best intro in the history of television.
In April HBO will be launching HBO Now, a service that will allow you to buy HBO without cable. This is a big deal folks. HBO is the reason many people buy cable in the first place. Those bundles you buy are a big selling point and a long standing strategy of cable. Now that might all change, but is an HBO standalone a good idea?
First I will say that I’m excited to see that HBO is doing this. I will subscribe to HBO standalone the first day I can. I’ve already bought and reviewed AppleTV just for the occasion. HBO will be on a limited number of devices for the first 3 months, but all apple products are included.
HBO shows and Movies are excellent. The channel has been the gold standard of television for at least 30 years, maybe longer. Having HBO is exactly what the name suggests, having a Box Office right in your home. I’m excited to watch many of the shows I never caught up on over the last 3 years after I left cable.
I will also say, that more than any channel, HBO is the most talked about. Standing at the water cooler, you’re going to hear about HBO shows the most, and I’ve felt left out. I think this is a great idea, I encourage everyone to subscribe, and I believe it could change the face of television.
That being said there are a few things HBO might need to address. Every time I’ve had HBO after about a month, maybe even 2 I ran out of things to watch. They simply do not have enough content to keep you interested for year after year. I understand they have high quality TV shows. I think that’s great, and I usually watch 1 or 2 of their 5 or 6 they have going. Now when I get HBO Now I’ll have a backlog, so I should be good for a while, especially if they include all the back episodes of their TV shows like Game of Thrones.
After a couple of months, maybe even 6 months though, if I run out of shows to watch, I might just find myself paying 14.99 per month for 1 night of TV shows and a couple of new movies per month. If this happens I’ll cash out for sure.
I hope that HBO does open all their old content. Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, Westwood, Game of Thrones, True Blood….etc.… If they do this, I can keep myself busy for a long time. If they do not, there might be issues pretty quickly.
Even so, HBO Go has about 340 movies listed. This is not enough. Many of these movies I’ve seen. Many of these movies are not first run or top quality. That’s ok. I can live with a smaller selection of choices, but they just have to rotate them every month.
This is where the problem really becomes apparent. When I was young, HBO was the place for movies, and today they still have the BEST first run movies, but their rotation of those movies has slowed. Netflix and Amazon are buying up content, and that makes it harder for HBO to renew content every month.
I will say this to HBO, and thing about this. If you can give me 5 nights of entertainment each month, I will keep your channel forever. I don’t have to watch your channel every day. I just want 5 nights worth of entertainment. That’s 2-4 hours per night. That would be like renting 5 movies for $3 per night. I’m good with that. You don’t have to give me the world.
On average I get about 1 or 2 nights per month from Netflix. The rest of the time I’m watching shows I’ve already seen or I’m watching something else, but they are priced lower.
If HBO can bring 300 good movies, 4 first run and 1 good series per month, I’ll be a lifetime member.