"Piracy," Cord-Cutting and HBO's Game of Thrones
In a provocative May 9th, 2012 post to Forbes, Erik Kain argues that the number of illegal downloads of Game of Thrones (as measured by traffic from torrent sites) suggests a fundamental problem with HBO's business model: "I’m willing to bet that a stand-alone HBO GO service would largely fix this problem, though nothing will stop piracy altogether."
"For the millions of Americans who don’t subscribe to HBO, or who may not even watch shows on a television... there is no legal way to watch Game of Thrones... But HBO is missing out on a huge potential audience by limiting themselves to cable TV subscribers. I don’t blame the company for keeping their shows off of Hulu or Netflix, but offering HBO GO as a stand-alone service could put a serious dent in these piracy numbers, and bring in a lot more legitimate viewers to shows like Game of Thrones."
Here's a link to a great comic strip (illustration above) about a guy wanting to watch Game of Thrones, and finding it impossible to do so unless he pirated a copy. Artwork etc. by Matthew Inman.