One is a cable premium network, the other is a digital streaming service, one requires a cable subscription, the other access to broadband. Yet both deliver original and licensed content in a subscription format. As the leader, HBO has normally had to compete with other premium channels including Showtime, Starz, and the upstart Epix on the cable platform, while Netflix sees more competition from Amazon and Hulu. And as the two services try to crossover into each others space, there is competition brewing between Netflix and HBO.
For HBO, their push into digital is the successful HBO Go app which lets cable authenticated subscribers stream and watch content on their mobile devices; For Netflix, it is access on OTT boxes, including TiVo, who now has some cable MSOs accessing it along side cable premium services. And as each financial quarter is announced, competition extends to their balance sheet. "The company's founder and CEO, Reed Hastings, announced in a Facebook post on Wednesday that for the first time, Netflix has pulled in more subscriber revenue than HBO over a three-month period." While HBO still has more profitability, it has also been doing it a lot longer. But Netflix continues to disrupt the business model and for that HBO and the other premium cable services need to keep pushing their value and content advantages.