I kind of feel bad directing this at HBO, considering some of the amazing content they've pumped out over the last few years, it's just that the words "cord cutter" engender thoughts of HBO, angry Game of Thrones fans, and frustrated torrenting. I guess I don't have to be totally fair.
But the simple fact is that more and more people are cutting the cord and severing ties with cable. Whether it's the price, dissatisfaction with the programming, or a genuine feeling that the interwebs have much more to offer - people have recently begun to take pride in cutting the cord. And why shouldn't they? They certainly have more willpower and determination that I do.
TechBargains.com just released a survey that shows exactly why HBO (and other premium cable services) may have a hard time with their current business model in a few years down the road. The survey found that out of all the respondents, nearly one-third had already cut the cord on cable. And out of those cord cutters, 33% said that they would never go back - even if they were offered a drastically reduced price.
The whole reason that I bring up HBO is that, as you may have heard, the company's business model has faced a bit of an online offensive as of late. Earlier this month, tens of thousands of people participated in an initiative called "Take My Money HBO." Their message was that they would gladly pay for an HBO Go-like service that stood alone, without requiring a cable subscription. The only problem with that, of course, is that HBO doesn't offer anything like that.
The average price that people said they'd be willing to pay for a standalone HBO streaming service was around $12.
HBO responded to this in a roundabout way, pointing customers via tweet to a TechCrunch article that explained why it would be bad business fro HBO to offer a streaming service apart from cable. Basically, spitting in the face of cable providers is currently suicide.
The TechBargains survey also found that 70% of people stream content to their desktops, 77% to their laptops, 72% to their tablets, 75% to their televisions (via Xbox, Roku, etc.), and even 53% stream content to their tiny little mobile phones. Seriously, people are spreading it around and there is an incredibly large demand for quality streaming content.
But once people have cut the cord, a significant majority say they aren't looking back. And if they say they won't go back even if the cable subscription became "drastically cheaper," a few good (even great) HBO shows are probably not going tempt them either, considering they'd have to pay both the cable fee and the HBO fee.
Like I said before, I'm not a cord cutter. I wonder exactly how low a cable company would have to go to woo back people who have ditched their service. Any cord cutters out there? Thoughts?