Bad News: In podcast form.
I’ll level with you. When I first saw this MacWorld UK article, I was pretty darn happy. I seriously thought that HBO was finally going to get some of their extremely-popular shows into iTunes. I was hoping to rush right into iTunes and get the season premiere of The Sopranos.
Then I read that they’re actually only adding some behind-the-scenes podcasts and other related paraphernalia. Color me, and a great deal of the internet, disappointed.
Okay, okay. Let’s try and look at the bright side. Clearly HBO is considering iTunes. They’re not quite as technophobic as FOX is—they’re taking baby steps into iTunes. This isn’t unprecedented: VH1 and G4 are doing the same thing. Hopefully, this is just HBO testing the waters on their way to getting The Sopranos, Rome and Curb Your Enthusiasm into iTunes.
However, my personal feelings aside, HBO feels that they have to protect their market. When you’re in the business of convincing people to pay an extra $10-$15 per month for your programming in its entirety, allowing people to pay just $2 per show could conceivably eat into that market. The other side of it is, of course, that while there may be some losses from people dropping the premium portion of their cable, they would easily make up for it from people like me who don’t even have cable and would like a legal outlet to get the latest episode of The Sopranos, short of waiting half a year for DVDs (on top of the year and a half we’ve already had to wait).
Either way, hopefully this is a good signal (albeit a weak one) that HBO is at least thinking about this avenue. Showtime is already convinced. Hopefully, HBO can take the plunge soon.