Noah J Nelson on Friday, May. 11th
Opinions expressed in Game of Buzz are the sole responsibility of the author.
Yesterday there was a bit of a hubbub about a Forbes article that made HBO co-president Eric Kessler seem woefully out of touch with the Internet age. Turns out that the Forbes article was a distortion– shame on you, Forbes– and that the reality on the ground (in the cloud?) is more complicated than Forbes’ Erik Kain would link-bait us to believe.
Turnstyle contributor Jonathan Poritsky brought this to our attention on his blog.
I considered linking this Forbes article yesterday that blames HBO for the unprecedented level of piracy Game of Thrones has experienced this season, but something seemed a bit off about it. Thankfully, Dustin Curtis took the time to do something Forbes writer Erik Kain didn’t: some journalism.
My take: while the internet is going to be the inevitable primary distribution channel for what is currently premium cable content, the bigger question is how will this all converge? Cable providers have to covet control over the internet lines that come into homes. Microsoft is getting into the subsidized subscription model with their XBox and have already turned their game console’s dashboard into a pipeline for video content.
What if all of us, the spoiled technoratti (lumping myself in here, note the “us”) are ignoring the most likely endgame given the cash and power of the cable/telcos? What if in five years we’re not going to be able to get internet service without also paying for cable in some fashion, be it as part of an NeXtBox subscription or a forced bundle from Comcast/AT&T/Warner Cable?
Will that be a horrible thing? Why should these be two separate pipes anyway? Just don’t charge us double, you jerks.
Okay, musing over. Check out Dustin Curtis’ transcription highlights to get the big picture on HBO’s business model. It’s easy to snipe from the sidelines when you’re familiar with start-up culture, but these are institutions we’re talking about with long complicated alliances that have dire consequences for tarnishing… kind of like Game of Thrones.