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Warner: no incentive for HBO to make iPad app, device deals

updated 05:40 pm EDT, Thu May 6, 2010

Time Warner CEO thinks HBO online in his control

Time Warner doesn't necessarily have any reason to launch an HBO app for the iPad or any other device, company CEO Jeff Bewkes said when discussing the company's latest financial results. The media firm could "easily" make an app to stream the cable channel's shows to Apple's tablet but doesn't have any motivation to do so. Since it goes over the web, the online HBO Go service doesn't have to be tied to a particular platform and gives Time Warner control over how the service works for any device, not just the iPad.

"If [viewers] want to access it on the broadband device, including any device made by any company, could be Korean, could be Apple, when they turn the thing on, they'll be looking at HBO," Bewkes said. "So [channels like HBO] don't need to make a deal or an arrangement or diffuse some of the money or leverage to a device maker because [subscribers will] view on every device for no extra charge."

Viewing through the web would still need changes, however, as HBO Go currently requires a plugin like Flash to work properly. Free-to-air etworks like CBS have already made HTML5 versions of their sites that would work in the iPad's browser, but no premium networks have made a similar leap. Many of these already sell show episodes in the iTunes Store or other mobile portals.

Time Warner is considered one of the more conservative content producers and has usually insisted that any free content come only as a bonus; HBO Go and the associated TV Everywhere initiative require that customers already be subscribed to Time Warner Cable. [via Seeking Alpha]



By Electronista Staff
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  1. facebook_Eye

    Via Facebook

    Joined: May 2010

    +5

    Absolutely clueless executive…

    HBO to Go is only available to people who subscribe to HBO. With my cable system HBO is only available to people who pay $50/month extra for a digital box then another $16 for HBO. I get 65 channels without the box, anyone who thinks paying $66 extra to get HBO is insane. I would actually like to have HBO and would pay $25/month to have access to Bill Maher, True Blood, Big Love, and a few movies. As it stands I can subscribe to Netflix for less and get the same content a few months later when the DVDs are released.

  1. macslut

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2004

    +6

    Idiots

    I'm loving the ABC player (ad supported) and Netflix (subscription supported), on the iPad 3G I just received from my girlfriend for my birthday.

    I had a Netflix account when they first launched until about 2006. I never thought I'd use them again until I got the iPad. Netflix on the iPad is really cool, worth the subscription in of itself.

    I'd totally pay for an HBO app, as I'm sure many others would too.

    The stupidity here is that while they can provide content through other means, having an app itself makes a huge difference and is incredibly easy to produce.

    I'm not sure why anyone with content wouldn't follow the lead of ABC for ad supported delivery or Netflix for subscription supported delivery...especially if the backend already exists and you just need the app.

  1. pt123

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2007

    +1

    app?

    Why is the ABC app needed? An app sounds really cool but can't we just go to ABC.com?

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    re: clueless

    With my cable system HBO is only available to people who pay $50/month extra for a digital box then another $16 for HBO. I get 65 channels without the box, anyone who thinks paying $66 extra to get HBO is insane.

    Then again, most people aren't getting a digital box just for HBO. They're probably getting it to also receive all those other channels that are offered.

    And your problem isn't with HBO, but with your cable provider.

    I would actually like to have HBO and would pay $25/month to have access to Bill Maher, True Blood, Big Love, and a few movies. As it stands I can subscribe to Netflix for less and get the same content a few months later when the DVDs are released.

    Why would you waste the money to subscribe, if, as you say, you can just rent it from netflix for far less, even if it didn't cost you $50 a month more, as you claim?

    And how does anything you rail about in your post makes the Warner guy 'clueless'? An app does you no good, since you'd need to subscribe, which you won't do, because of the cost.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -3

    re: app?

    So, when Apple says "Don't use flash, use HTML5", that's OK. But if then a company says "We're going to use a web site, rather than have to make 52 different apps to run on all those different computers, handhelds, tablets, mobile phones, etc", they're stupid.

    Maybe if they could develop one single app and then redistribute it to all their platforms, that would make it easier. But, nah, can't do that. Apple insists all apps be written specifically for their OS. No translations allowed.

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