HBO Go Passwords: Hand it Out, For the Time Being

Getting the best of TV has always been hard. You have to pay more money to get the extra channels. If you don’t want to have cable, then you have to pay in order to gain access to the streaming services that are available with sites like Hulu Plus and Netflix. In many cases, there are easy ways around all of this, and it’s a very simple answer. Just share your login and password.

HBO Go, the newest of all the streaming services, has run into the oldest problem in the streaming book. People have begun to share their login credentials to let others who don’t pay for the subscription-only channel access the backlog of shows and movies that HBO has produced over the years. Unlike other services, HBO has actually acknowledged this practice of account sharing. The odd thing is…they don’t seem too worried about it.

In an interview with BuzzFeed, HBO CEO Richard Plepler discussed how they aren’t ignoring password sharing; instead, they are “looking at different ways to affect password-sharing.” Take a look for yourself.

Since Netflix started, the sharing of passwords to friends, family, strangers, and whoever else was looking for the streaming service was common. Netflix cracked down on the people doing this, supposedly, but has since allowed for up to five “viewing profiles” to be added to one account. Hulu Plus is still competing with those who pay for cable. Aimed more toward people trying to save money each month, relying on Hulu to provide them with their favorite shows so a cable company does not.

What makes HBO’s stance such a new and refreshing one is that they have always been a “paid” service. HBO Go is linked to your cable provider and can only be accessed if you log in with that provider, which is unlike any of the other services.

But what exactly does Plepler’s statement about “looking at different ways to affect password sharing” mean? Are they looking to crack down and eradicate it? Do they want to separate HBO and the Go platform? Do they want to encourage users to hand out their passwords to friends and family? The answers are unclear. For now, HBO and HBO Go are one. With one, you obviously have the other.

Well, maybe you have the other.

Extra Links: BuzzFeed, TechCrunch, The Verge

Image via: HBO Go Screenshot

Author: Colin Ball

Colin Ball received his BA in Journalism from Creighton University in Omaha, NE. As technology continues to grow, so does his love for the ever expanding industry. Check out what he's doing over on Google+ by clicking his name above.

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