HBO Declines to Renew Amazon Contract Leading to Removal of Shows in 2018

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by cageymaru, May 5, 2017.

  1. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard|News

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    Time Warner Inc. has decided to remove HBO from the Amazon Prime streaming service in 2018. This change stems from a change in perception of Amazon's streaming service as they now see it as a competitor. HBO's CEO Richard Pepler discussed how immensely popular older HBO shows were on the Amazon Prime streaming service. Amazon in 2014 was granted the right to stream finished shows that were 3 years out of their original run on HBO. This $250 million - $300 million deal doesn't make sense for HBO after analyzing the popularity of the shows. They have decided to play the long game and add them to the standalone HBO Now service as they see these older gems as added value to attract more consumers to their service.

    Will this change your perception of the value of the HBO Now or Amazon Prime? Do you think the immense value that HBO is seeing for their shows on Amazon comes from the marketing time and dollars that Amazon themselves invested into making Amazon Prime so wildly popular? Will consumers; especially Amazon Prime users forget about those older shows when the $4.5 billion investment into original programming that Amazon is spending on content starts appearing on the service? 3 years isn't a long time for TV watchers to forget your show ever existed, but eventually consumers will. Then HBO will be grateful that a service like TV Land wants to run them.

    “I don’t think you’ll see us extend or expand our library programming on Amazon beyond the end of next year,” Plepler said. He cited the “enormous momentum” of sales through Amazon’s service set up to help market streaming offshoots of traditional TV channels such as HBO, Showtime and Starz.

    Plepler said HBO Now was also seeing strong momentum in sales through DirecTV Now, the low-cost digital MVPD service that launched late last year by AT&T. AT&T and HBO parent Time Warner, of course, are in the midst of an $85.4 billion merger that is expected to close by year-end, as Time Warner chairman-CEO Jeff Bewkes reiterated on the call.
     
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  2. YeuEmMaiMai

    YeuEmMaiMai Death Incarnate

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    poor HBO, are they going to remove themselves from Hulu as well? as I recall amazon prime and Hulu offer HBO as an add on...not sure how they are competing
     
  3. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I raised the same concerns when youtube channels started to offer their premium services separately. I'd pay a mild fee to see them all on the same platform, but I won't pay them individually each on different platforms. And lack of pirated availability of said shows won't change that.
     
  4. kju1

    kju1 2[H]4U

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    Because competition is bad...it forces them to keep their prices reasonable. I have not, nor will I ever, pay for a subscription to HBO or any other "premium" channel. Inevitably their content all ends up on <insert physical medium de jour> anyway. You dont need to see it right as it comes out and its much better to wait and see it all at once without the crappy wait times in between.
     
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  5. DejaWiz

    DejaWiz Oracle of Unfortunate Truths

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    This will backfire in their faces. Big time.

    "Coming to Amazon Prime 2019: HBO!"
     
  6. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    Ugh...I'm getting fucking tired of every goddamn company trying to launch their own stupid fucking service. One or two sources is enough. I feel the same damn way about game companies. Bethesdanet, UPlay, Steam, Origin, and Blizzard's bullshit. For fuck's sake stop it!
     
  7. Master_shake_

    Master_shake_ [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Online streaming is turning in to PC gaming 200x....

    Too many platforms.
     
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  8. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    I think it will sort itself out in time. I think people will only invest anything into whatever one or two services at most. The rest will go ignored. It's already pretty bad with TV shows. CW has their own shit, NBC has their own shit, etc. At some point it will come down to survival of the fittest and the heard will thin out. We just don't know how long that will take.
     
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  9. Jagger100

    Jagger100 [H]ardness Supreme

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    I think Games of Thones was eventually going to come over and this is probably getting out before that happens.
     
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  10. nysmo

    nysmo Gawd

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    Do you use the same argument at the grocery store? "I'd gladly pay $50 to fill my shopping cart but I will NOT pay for each individual item I throw in there"??? What about the movie theater? "I'll gladly pay a yearly membership to see all the big screen feature films I want but I will NOT pay for each individual movie that comes out"???

    If you want to pay one fee for all your entertainment then buy an $80 cable TV package that includes this channel. The reason HBO is a la carte is because the production value of their shows is 100x that of any other show right now. Quite simply -- it's worth it, and they could not produce shows like Game of Thrones based purely upon advertiser dollars and piggy back off a basic cable TV lineup.

    Or pay the $15 to stream it online through HBO NOW which is a direct competitor to Netflix. Or do none of you pay for Netflix either?
     
  11. MrWrong

    MrWrong [H]ard|Gawd

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    I guess I need to hurry up and binge watch the HBO shows that I have on my watch list before they disappear. Other than some Amazon originals most of what I watch on Amazon is the HBO stuff. Everything else I watch is also on Netflix which has as far better UI IMO so I prefer watching there.
     
  12. Master_shake_

    Master_shake_ [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Giant lumbering conglomerates don't give up easily. They still believe in the cable tv model.
     
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  13. spugm1r3

    spugm1r3 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I don't know that this is going to pan out for HBO. It was a value add for Prime, because they were quality shows that you would not otherwise see. On the flipside, I'm not considering HBO Now for their older content, but access to their newer content. Further, I think the general perception is that those older shows were already included in HBO Now, so there is no perceived increase in value for that average consumer.
     
  14. nysmo

    nysmo Gawd

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    I'm ok with pirating content you would have never paid for in the first place. For instance I just downloaded season 7 of The Walking Dead. Why? Because I don't have cable and I don't give a shit about AMC or TWD really. I could live the rest of my days never knowing what happened with Neegan. But I was bored and figured meh, might as well watch it. However I fricken LOVE Silicon Valley and GOT, so I'll pay for HBO NOW just to watch those shows.
     
  15. HeadRusch

    HeadRusch [H]ard|Gawd

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    I'd better hurry up and re-watch Generation Kill for the 18th time.......thx for the warning.
     
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  16. cocheese256

    cocheese256 Gawd

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    I see them as competitors. I was amazed that HBO even allowed to have shows on Prime. I think it is a good idea for them to have a channel through Amazon. That is more of an la carte design that I have been looking for. This also eliminates the issue of paying to different sources for different channels (ie, pay HBO, pay Showtime, pay AMC, etc). My girlfriend used the Showtime channel on Amazon to catch up on Shameless. When the season was over, she did not renew the subscription.
     
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  17. nysmo

    nysmo Gawd

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    It's not so much the "cable tv model", it's just that there are so many content creators you have no choice but to end up like this. It's like saying you hate the restaurant model because there are too many places to eat, why cant Applebee's just serve everything!
     
  18. cocheese256

    cocheese256 Gawd

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    Also I will add, it would seem like a good idea to keep the channel on Amazon. Simply because it is another avenue for providers to get there content to the public.
     
  19. fuzzylogik

    fuzzylogik Gawd

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    Whelp, I guess i won't be watching any HBO shows next year.
     
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  20. Tiburon1186

    Tiburon1186 Gawd

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    Torrents are definitely the way to go. I subscribe to a few streaming platforms. Prime and Hulu at the moment but I cycle through and drop some when another has something I want to watch. But to be honest, HBO never added value to Amazon Prime since you had to pay extra for it, basically amounting to an HBO Now subscription with less content.
     
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  21. NeoNemesis

    NeoNemesis 2[H]4U

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    Canada just got Prime Video and because of various exclusivity deals they weren't allowed to show HBO shows anyways. I'm indifferent.

    Prime Video Canada is a little spartan compared to Netflix, but with American Gods and Grand Tour I'm definitely getting good use out of what essentially is a free service (I'm already a long time prime subscriber).

    FYI, to get HBO shows in Canada you basically have to sell your soul to Bell. You can get the HBO back catalogue (minus GoT) with CraveTV for $8 a month, but to watch current shows you need to pay $100+ a month for a whole bunch of shit you will never use.

    So ya, I pirate GoT, because I'm hoping that eventually my doing so will contribute to Bell / HBO offering better services in Canada.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2017
  22. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    That's an entirely wrong analogy. Would you want to go into 5 different stores to get all the groceries you want? In each place you have to register, and in each place they have different rules, and different ways of delivery.
     
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  23. The Lamb

    The Lamb [H]Lite

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    People get Amazon Prime for the free delivery and other benefits like cloud services. That you get to watch some good TV is just the cherry on the cake. I'm not going to subscribe to some other service just for the TV.
     
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  24. nysmo

    nysmo Gawd

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    What grocery store do you do your shopping at?
     
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  25. Master_shake_

    Master_shake_ [H]ardForum Junkie

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    i think you misunderstood what i meant.

    i meant, high prices for basic packages, eye watering prices for any extras, contracts, low cost equipment rental fees that are anything but low cost. and a satisfaction rating that rivals being hit in the face with a bat.

    that cable tv model.

    oh and fee after fee for connections or whatever.
     
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  26. Paladin21

    Paladin21 Gawd

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    I think they grossly overestimate the amount of people who will pay $15 a month to watch their back catalog. I've watched Band of Brothers on Amazon recently. I own the DVD box set too. It was easier to queue it up on Prime than swap DVDs. Similarly, I've glanced through some of their other back catalog only because it comes with Prime. As The Lamb said, Prime is for the Amazon benefits. I don't think they should try to treat viewer numbers as if they're paying for a streaming service. They're just using a nice freebie.
     
  27. Dead Parrot

    Dead Parrot 2[H]4U

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    The more small providers the market fragments into, the greater chance of conflicting player standards. Provider A requires player V 2.3+, Provider B only supports up to player V 2.1. Not to mention more folks wanting autopay access to your bank account or CC. More passwords to forget or account info to have stolen when the inevitable provider server breach happens.
     
  28. NeoNemesis

    NeoNemesis 2[H]4U

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    I've trotted out this argument a few times but:

    Piracy drives innovation. You may not like it, but iTunes probably wouldn't exist if Napster and its contemporaries hadn't forced the music industry to act. They WANT you to buy the $15 CD filled with 13 shit songs and 1-2 good ones. The same would probably be true of Netflix if not for KaZaa or torrents.

    Also, your analogy is terrible because groceries can't be copies and distributed an infinite number of times for free with no loss of quality. If I steal groceries, I am preventing other people from paying for them. If I pirate a TV show, the content producer is merely missing the opportunity to sell me something.
     
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  29. Dullard

    Dullard [H]ard|Gawd

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    That's me. I check it out now and then, seems like everything I want to watch there I have to pay for, anyway. But I have HBO so can watch stuff on HBO Now - I'll probably like this move since it seems like HBO Now has damn little stuff on it, if HBO would put all their eggs in one basket it would suit me fine.
     
  30. nysmo

    nysmo Gawd

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    Well equipment rentals and stuff was just to provide a conduit for the service to reach your TV. Even Comcast offers most of their shows online so you can stream via web browser, cellphone app, etc. Only recently has streaming to your TV been a mainstream thing with devices like Roku and Chromecast. It would probably benefit Comcast not to have to produce set top boxes and an entire supply chain for maintaining them. Hell half the bandwidth of their cable lines could be freed up getting rid of these things.

    As far as prices go, well that's just supply and demand. If you don't like it then don't pay for it, and when Comcast see's the hit to their wallet they can decide if they should reduce prices or increase quality. But just taking it isn't what youre supposed to do. If the cost of milk is too high at the grocery store you don't just steal it to send a message for them to drop their prices. You can leave it on the shelf. As it stands companies like Comcast are aware that their produce is in very high demand, and they aren't convinced you wouldn't pay for it if couldn't steal it first. So their goal is going to be continuing to battle piracy and THEN we'll see what you really pay for.
     
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  31. benny32

    benny32 n00b

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    I think the correct analogy here is you can get bread at Grocery Store X but need to go to Grocery Store Y for milk and Grocery Store Z for eggs. That model would probably piss more than a few people off.
     
  32. nysmo

    nysmo Gawd

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    You're stealing the gas of everyone had to drive in to work and produce the show. You're stealing the cost of electricity that they paid to have pumped into the building to drive the equipment to produce the show. You're stealing the hours upon hours of labor someone put into working late nights so they could go and buy groceries for their family at the end of the week. If someone's only source of funding paying their rent is to sell a painting and you copy it, how are they going to pay their rent? They'll just stop painting and do something else instead that you cant copy, and now you don't get to see any more paintings.
     
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  33. ravx25

    ravx25 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I agree and that goes for a lot of the other app/platforms out there too. It will eventually all boil down to a handful of streaming services.
     
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  34. NeoNemesis

    NeoNemesis 2[H]4U

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    It is not 'Supply and Demand' it's lobbying and a government endorsed oligopoly.
     
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  35. Master_shake_

    Master_shake_ [H]ardForum Junkie

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    it's not supply and demand.

    it's a cartel. i can link the video of the i think comcast or time warner ceo saying they stay out of each others way if you want.
     
  36. Darunion

    Darunion 2[H]4U

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    piracy also drives these multiple distribution platforms that everyone hates. When enough people are enjoying your hard work for free, you have to find ways to prevent that or make them pay for it. Employees need paid etc.
     
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  37. nysmo

    nysmo Gawd

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    But that's the model we live in right now. I don't buy my meat from Wal-Mart even though they also sell vacuum cleaners and motor oil. Why? Because their meat is dogshit. So I go to Publix for better quality and brands I like. But guess what, Publix doesn't sell the Kobe Beef burgers I like, so I still have to go to another grocery store once every few weeks when I want a delicious juicy burger to grill at home.
     
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  38. NeoNemesis

    NeoNemesis 2[H]4U

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    Ya that just isn't true at all. For that to be true I would have to be willing to pay for the content in the first place. Such as not forcing me to buy Home & Garden TV to watch Game of Thrones.

    Also, they could stop producing content, or they could try to find a better and more equitable way to distribute it. Which makes more sense?

    Totally agree, but that's always been an issues. VHS versus Beta / Bluray vs HDDVD. I like to think that eventually, one platform will emerge as a champion the same way that Steam has emerged as the leading platform for Video Games.
     
  39. nysmo

    nysmo Gawd

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    I think the streaming industry would have caught on eventually without piracy just due to the available bandwidth. It's sorta like saying some defect in a car that killed a million people was a good thing because then a new airbag was developed. Well yeah, the new airbag is great and all, but it came at great sacrifice, and probably would have been invented regardless. Perhaps piracy expedited the advancement of streaming services once it became obvious that content could be delivered digitally on a large scale.
     
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  40. NeoNemesis

    NeoNemesis 2[H]4U

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    Technology is developed to fulfill a need or solve a problem. If nobody was dying in car accidents the airbag never would have been invented.

    If nobody was streaming/downloading tv shows it's very unlikely that streaming services would ever have caught on.