Content Marketing

HBO Rejects Fans’ Web-Only Programming Plea

A fan campaign that aimed to persuade premium cable channel HBO to offer a web-only option was shot down by the company last week.

The campaign, titled “Take My Money, HBO!,” featured fans tweeting exactly how much they would pay per month for a standalone HBO Go subscription, according to the New York Times.

On June 6, HBO tweeted, “Love the love for HBO. Keep it up. For now, @RyanLawler @TechCrunch has it right: http://itsh.bo/JLtSFE #takemymoneyHBO.”

The company pretty much agreed with Lawler, who says that offering a web-only subscription would be detrimental to cable subscription rates since most people said they would pay about $12 a month for the channel.

It’s not uncommon for brands to provide customers with supplementary show content, such as behind-the-scene videos, commentary, and extra scenes. But web-only television hasn’t exactly caught on yet.

According to Nielsen statistics, 145 million people watch video on the Internet, while 290 million watch television on their sets. In a report covering 2011 viewing habits, Nielsen found that Americans watched almost 33 hours of traditional television per week, while spending just under 4 hours per week watching online video.

It may take a long time and advances in technology until customers are as comfortable watching videos on their computers as they are watching it on sets.

For now, companies are using social media to dictate what they put on traditional television, either by letting viewers weigh in on show aspects or only producing television that has a social media buzz around it.


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