Eric Kessler, President of HBO, has just announced that the company is finally adding support for AirPlay to its HBO Go iOS app, and Cinemax’s MAX GO app as well — both updates are available in the iTunes App Store right now. Kessler also said that he expects that his company's products will eventually arrive on the Apple TV — as part of a larger trend of HBO trying to get on as many different devices as possible. HBO Go is apparently enough for the company to feel current — without having to open up earlier windows for purchasing shows or sell HBO content a la carte. "We never want to become your father's Oldsmobile," Kessler says, saying that HBO Go keeps the company up with the times. There's certainly room to grow, as HBO Go only accounts for two to three percent of HBO's total viewership at the moment.
"We never want to become your father's Oldsmobile."
Will these services be available for people who don't subscribe to cable? Kessler says no, that the "economics today are not particularly compelling." He's not religious about HBO being carried by cable companies, but he says that various things, like customers more frequently disconnecting and reconnecting, make selling it separately unprofitable. Kessler says that HBO could open things up any time it wants to — as HBO Go has proven — but it won't be doing it until the money is right. Making those kinds of calculated decisions seems to have worked well for HBO so far, as the company's racked up 114 million worldwide subscribers.
Kessler told the audience at Dive into Media that he is unlikely to follow Netflix's experiment of releasing an entire season of a TV show at once — the benefits of anticipation and the word-of-mouth potential when people discuss the latest episode are just too great to ignore. He pointed out that the finale of The Sopranos led to a wave of buzz and conversation that would never have happened if it weren't scheduled.