I remember reading that Game of Thrones was the most downloaded series in 2016. It’s a pity; I’m sure that everybody needs and wants and deserves to get paid if they’re doing a good job. I won’t pretend to be a saint, but let’s just say that if a series is available in the country where I live, in English, with English subtitles, I am more than happy to pay to watch it.
I also go the movies quite often, maybe 2-3 times a month, always with a friend. In general I don’t download something if there is a viable paid for alternative. When I bought my TV, the first thing I did was to try to find content in English (I live in Prague…). I reached out to one of the providers who considered absolutely normal to only offer the content in Czech; although it was originally in English. Obvious question that went unasked: Don’t you want my money?
This problem was solved when Netflix came to Czech Republic. I’m so happy to watch everything I can through Netflix; and of course pay for it. I’m also happy to watch some of the (limited) things HBO Go has to offer, and of course, pay for it. But I’m not happy to suffer, waste my time, curse every time that I need to do so and eventually not being able to.
A benefit of paying for the service, is the time you save. I just power on my TV, go on Netflix, everything works. Audio language as I have set it up, subtitles as I have set them up. All is good. I guess if I wanted subtitles or audio in a language other than English, it wouldn’t be so easy; yet, since I only need English, my experience is flawless.
No more searching for torrent sites, kodi streams, synced subtitles etc. And all, for almost half than a movie visit would cost me. It’s a bargain!
My experience with HBO Go has been the exact opposite. It just doesn’t work! I pay my subscription, but then I have to change the language every time from Czech to English. Every single time. And I have to login every time. Every single time, although I’m using the same TV. My TV provider says “it’s for HBO GO to fix it, we only package the app” (talk about customer service!).
Not to talk about the constant buffering, the throw of a dice if you will be able to move a bit forward or - god forbid! - a little bit to the back! And then you have the funny stories, like when you set the audio in original, and the subtitles in English; you start watching, for example, the Young Pope, just to realise that English for HBO GO means Italian. And no, you don’t have an option to force English.
This is the time that you understand that no matter if you pay or not, there are still companies that just behave like they don’t want your money!
Advise to HBO GO: You will never stop pirating Game of Thrones, or any other successful series. But providing a good and flawless experience for anyone who wants to use your services is a huge step towards cutting your loses. Take that bloody step!