HBO Has Many Chinese Models
HBO, the cable TV network that has provided viewers with many great and entertaining shows over the years is finally leaving the market. The reason is because of the tough economic times that the country is experiencing. In July, HBO began to show a majority of their programming from the HBO brand on Apple’s platform, specifically the iPhone. The good news for customers is that it will only be available in China at this time. But what does this mean for the customer? Well, let us find out.
HBO has always been known for its strong international support and programming. So, if you are planning on ordering HBO programming, such as movies, exclusive sports packages, or even the pay-per-view service, this is definitely the right move to make. It gives the customer a greater selection than they might have with other pay-per-view service providers.
As a cable TV company, if you want to maintain your customer base, you will want to expand your offerings. That means adding more channels of programming to your lineup of options. By bringing in HBO, not only do you expand your collection but you also strengthen your financial future by expanding the number of people you can sell to.
The good news is that most customers love HBO and are willing to pay for the premium cable service. The bad news is that the pay-per-view service is not very popular in China, even though the company tried to make it so. It is not the service that is failing; it is the company. HBO is one of those companies that seem to make all their mistakes from trying to be too trendy to being too mainstream. While the company is doing fine, it seems like they are trying to become too mainstream, which is counter-productive to their own goals.
So, why did HBO suddenly decide to leave the Chinese market? In a word, competition. The Chinese service is less than two months old, and already customers are calling in with questions about service availability, pricing, and what programming options are available. For HBO, it makes sense to remain in China where it is received and enjoyed the most by audiences, but there are other reasons why a new service provider may be better.
As mentioned earlier, HBO now has several on air movie options, which works to its advantage because it increases the overall exposure of the company and its programming to viewers. As consumers become familiar with an on air offering, they are likely to ask their friends and family about the movie, which in turn helps to spread word-of-mouth advertising around. This kind of word-of-mouth advertising may not translate into massive amounts of subscribers, but it is enough to keep customers coming back to the HBO service as fans get excited about the upcoming movie releases.
But if HBO removes the Chinese option from its lineup, is it really going to be all that different than the multiple on air movie packages it has today? After all, no one really knows for sure whether the Chinese model is a success, because it hasn’t happened yet in the U.S., and no firm numbers have been announced. But even without the Chinese model, there is still a huge advantage to being the home of HBO in China. Because the Chinese audience enjoys movies, sports events, and television shows just like we do here in the States, being part of the HBO brand is a way to ensure their enjoyment.
If HBO cannot change its business model overnight, at least they can come up with a better reason to stay in China. If they announce plans to launch a Chinese pay-per-view service, they might find that once they offer this service to the masses, they will get tremendous support from local Chinese audiences. This will boost their revenue and allow them to expand into other countries like India, Malaysia, and the Philippines. As for HBO’s movies in China, it will make for great viewing for movie lovers and fans, and the added exposure through pay-per-view service will help to spread the word about the great movie quality and variety of shows being shown. It’s clear that the company realizes that they need to consider this model if they want to remain in business in China.