Many of us can’t afford or have chosen not to pay for cable, or even a television, but that doesn’t stop us from watching our favorite shows. Even those of us who do own a TV and pay for cable, can’t afford premium cable subscriptions on top of it, like Showtime to watch the surprisingly good Homeland, or HBO to watch damn near every show the Internet loves to discuss, from the geek friendly Game of Thrones, to the guilty pleasure True Blood, to the stellar Boardwalk Empire. We all know HBO is in a battle with Netflix, which is why its shows don’t appear on the service, and is also one of the main reasons HBO’s Internet streaming service HBO Go exists. Unfortunately, you can’t subscribe to HBO Go without subscribing to HBO in full. That’s where Take My Money, HBO! comes in, as it tells HBO how much you’d pay for a standalone HBO Go subscription.
Take My Money, HBO! is a simple service that works through Twitter. It tweets at the official Twitter accounts of HBO Go and HBO, and includes a #takemymoneyhbo hashtag for good branding measure. Simply enter the amount you would pay for a monthly subscription to a standalone HBO Go service, press the tweet button, and watch in the live feed below as your tweet fires off at HBO.
As of now, HBO Go is simply a small addition to the HBO you already have on your television, rather than a separate service that allows users without television to keep up with, for instance, Aaron Sorkin’s new show The Newsroom when it debuts this month. As it stands, HBO Go is a great service for if you’re stuck somewhere away from your TV, but happen to have some sort of mobile device and can spare the hour wherever you are to watch your show.
You might be thinking that all television is like that, and if you don’t subscribe to cable, you shouldn’t be able to watch cable. However, in the modern world, we have various other types of services that provide cable shows, like Netflix or Hulu. Sure, the services might not get you that new episode of Eureka the very night it airs on SyFy, but it will eventually show up on the service. As of now, the only way to watch an HBO show is to have HBO; their shows don’t appear anywhere else. They’re not in the wrong for controlling how their own original product can be obtained, of course, especially when a delicate relationship with cable providers hangs in the balance, but a standalone HBO Go keeps their homegrown product at home, and would generate a new avenue of income. It’s pretty weird that they haven’t already opened the service up as a standalone.
So, while you might already be pirating episodes or using your friend’s HBO Go login information to catch up on just how many supernatural boyfriends Sookie has this season, Take My Money, HBO! might actually get the attention of the network if enough people use it, and then, someday, you might be paying a small amount to watch HBO shows with a clear conscience.
(via Hacker News)
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