The goal is to become HBO faster than HBO can become us.
Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, speaking to GQ for a profile of Netflix chief Reed Hastings.
This will go down as the year that HBO either made the right choice or the wrong choice not to go after the stand-alone Netflix model. Netflix is coming out swinging with House of Cards and then Arrested Development. HBO continues to hide behind big cable.
Netflix at first paid for 5 million customers and they got 25 million. But now people are saying, ‘OK, you’re going to get 30 million customers, so you’re going to pay for 30.’ If Netflix can get 40 or 50 million, they’ll be fine. But if they don’t get to 30, they’re probably going to go pfft.
Dish Network head Charlie Ergen predicting the future for Netflix.
Keep in mind this is the guy who bought Blockbuster and spends the entire interview with Bloomberg trying to rationalize the move, suggesting that what was clearly a mistake was not a mistake — just a waste of time, and money. Right.
We are not in discussions and have no plans to work with Netflix.
HBO spokesman Jeff Cusson
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings opened that door today during their earnings announcement. HBO just slammed it in their face.
First and foremost, I love your content. You’ve produced several of my favorite shows over the years, and the hits keep on coming. I’d love to watch Game of Thrones now, but I can’t. You see, the only way to get your service is to be a cable subscriber, and several months ago I cut the cord.
The recent news that you’ve reached agreements with Cablevision and Time Warner Cable to make your iPad app, HBO Go, more widely available has plenty of people all excited. But to me it looks like a big turd sandwich. If I wanted cable, I’d pay for cable. I just want HBO, but you make it impossible.
I realize this is all about money. The cable companies send you a ton of cash and provide you with a great platform on which you are given prime billing to the elite tier customers. But the world is changing. And you need to get in front of it.
Though they’re going through a bit of a rough transformation right now, Netflix is clearly adjusting their cannons to aim right at you. In 2 years, they will be HBO — but better. Because they won’t require a goddamn bullshit cable subscription.
I’d gladly pay you upwards of $19.99 a month for direct access to HBO Go without a cable subscription. Netflix charges $7.99 a month for their streaming service right now, but thanks to your original programming, you’re worth a lot more. But Netflix original programming is coming soon, so your premium buffer won’t last forever. The time to strike is now.
If you could remove your lips from the cable company teat for a minute, you’d find hundreds of thousands — and likely millions — of customers happy to pay a premium for access to HBO Go without the cable requirement right now. That number is only going to grow. And fast.
Content is king, and you have the best content. If you do go cable-optional, a few of the cable companies may try to boycott you. But the ensuing customer relations shitstorm will only prove your value and will hasten the arrival of the post-cable world. You can lead this revolution.
So please HBO, I beg you, take control. Pre-empt Netflix and rise against big cable. Fulfill your destiny. Or I’m going to have to call on ESPN.
Update: Yes, Time Warner owns HBO, but…