As TimeWarner has suddenly realized, it's wholly owned subsidiary HBO is immensely popular and people are going to watch their content whether they pay for it or not. Most people with a moral conscience have been pleading with HBO to open up their mobile service HBO Go as a stand alone platform instead of being bundled in a package deal. A move that they are seriously considering.
I'm sure you have noticed, that most segments from John Oliver's Last Week Tonight have surfaced on YouTube by the official account. Most of which being uploaded the day after or the night of the show being released. The thing is, they're getting views and lots of coverage. On more than one occasion have I seen a Gawker blog make a post that gained thousands of clicks. Taking it further, social sites such as FaceBook and Twitter have also increased this number but they all lead back to YouTube. Just this week - a hiatus week for the show released a three minute video about pumpkin spice that as of this post has over 2 Million views.
Why is this significant?
Tomorrow, TimeWarner's CEO will announce the plans that have been concocted by his staff and board of directors. Earlier in the year they rejected an $80 Billion dollar bid for their holdings, intellectual properties and strategic business units. This offer was rejected. Meanwhile, in Comcastland, 99% of the directors for Comcast voted in favor for merging with TimeWarner - of whom also had a majority vote for this horizontal integration move.
So tomorrow we may find out the news if the merger will happen, if TimeWarner plans on relinquishing it's firm grasp on HBO Go to cable buyers only, or if they do something reasonable like $12/mo for HBO Go access and also unblock it on mobile devices while also using this money to upgrade existing back end hardware like servers and bandwidth dedication for this service - as we all know the outages have affected many including myself.
The take away is that TimeWarner does seem to want to change to growing consumer trends. They're experimenting with YouTube content, considering individual subscription programs and also increasing market share with the worst possible candidate - Comcast.
I for one, hope that they remain independent and grow their company. I currently purchase internet from TimeWarner and I'd rather not switch to Verizon or AT&T. So we wait for tomorrow's announcement.