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HBO GO: Retaining Customers with Mobile App


By 2010 Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Instant Play offered online streaming of video content to customers through mobile apps and websites. With the mass availability of mobile and convenient entertainment content, HBO found itself losing customers. Some customers dropped HBO and would wait for their favorite HBO programs to come out on Netflix to watch. HBO knew they had to get into the mobile game in order to offer convenience and additional benefits and hopefully retain their current subscriber base. And so HBO GO was born.


HBOGO Mobile AppThe HBO GO app is now available on Iphone, Ipad, Android Phone, Android Tablet, Xbox 360, Kindle Fire, Roku, Samsung Smart TV, but only to customers with participating Cable Providers. The mobile site is also available with the same content online. As opposed to the usual lists interface layout like that of most apps, HBO GO fills the screen with squares dedicated to each featured show or movie that the subscriber can tap on to start watching. The interface is intuitive and easy to use. It also changes orientation according to the tilt of the iPad, and when you slightly tilt the iPad, the screen navigates according to the direction of the tilt.


The addition of the app did wonders for HBO’s overall value proposition. The app is completely free with subscription and offers ALL HBO content at ANYTIME and ANYWHERE. The HBO GO app actually offers more content than if you were to use HBO On Demand on your TV. While watching their favorite shows, subscribers can now click the twitter or Facebook icon to share with friends what they are watching etc. The interactive viewing option is also an amazing addition to HBO’s overall value. With interactive viewing, the HBO GO app allows you to pull up a sidebar during a show that contains commentary, quotes, interactive maps etc. that all relate directly to what is happening in that specific scene of the show. This is a great way to get subscribers to dive further into their favorite shows, thereby increasing their satisfaction and overall loyalty.


HBO GO was a great success with its one million downloads within the first week of its initial launch. Only a handful of apps have been downloaded at a rate so fast. The app drove consumer usage as a survey showed that 85% of HBO GO registrants watch more HBO as a result of HBO GO. This increased usage led to increased satisfaction as 76% of HBO GO registrants say that HBO GO makes them feel much more positive about their HBO subscription overall. Finally, this increased satisfaction led to an overall increase in loyalty and a more secure subscriber base: 92% of people with HBO GO said they were extremely or very likely to continue subscribing, as opposed to the 85% of people without HBO GO