HBO Go is an app that lets users stream on their phones, tablets and computers.
While we know that high volume caused HBO Go’s servers to crash, there are no publicly-available metrics on the ratio of users-per-HBO Go accounts. That didn’t stop people from speculating that this was the network’s plan all along. Said Hypable’s Andrew Sims:
There’s one glaring issue that was made clear tonight: People who subscribe to HBO are screwed when GO crashes because those who are leeching off of their friends’ accounts are bringing the servers to a screeching halt … HBO should at least set up a couple of rules for GO as they move forward. For example, there should be a rule that only two people can be logged into an account simultaneously. This will help control the number of people who are using GO at any given time, and HBO can design their server capacity to ensure a crash won’t happen.
HBO CEO Richard Pepler told Buzzfeed that he didn’t care about users sharing their passwords, but after Sunday night’s crash, he might want to reconsider.
I see HBO was playing the long game here. Get people hooked on their shows who aren’t cable subscribers, then crash HBO-Go. Brilliant.
— Eric Schultz (@ericschul) March 10, 2014
“It’s not that we’re unmindful of it, it just has no impact on the business,” Pepler said. That was in January.