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Should You Work at HBO or Netflix?

Should You Work at HBO or Netflix?

Over 130 mil­lion peo­ple sub­scribe to HBO glob­al­ly.  Found­ed in 1972 with its first launch on a cable sys­tem serv­ing Wilkes Barre Penn­syl­va­nia with the 1971 film, some­times a Great Notion, star­ring Paul New­man and Hen­ry Fon­da, HBO was the world’s first “pay” tv ser­vice. Orig­i­nal­ly pri­mar­i­ly air­ing movies over time it has evolved into one of the most suc­cess­ful and pro­lif­ic pro­duc­ers of orig­i­nal shows.

From today’s Game of Thrones to the Sopra­nos and True Blood of the past HBO is known for some of the most watched orig­i­nal pro­gram­ming on tele­vi­sion.

In 2015 HBO entered the “OTT” video mar­ket with the launch of their direct to con­sumer ser­vice HBO Now.

With over $2 bil­lion dol­lars in annu­al income HBO has a strong cap­i­tal base for expan­sion.

But what about the com­pe­ti­tion from Net­flix and Ama­zon? 

Net­flix has been spend­ing bil­lions of dol­lars cre­at­ing orig­i­nal pro­gram­ming for broad­cast on their ser­vice.  As of April 2017 Net­flix was report­ing in excess of 99 mil­lion sub­scribers world­wide.

But while most of HBO’s dis­tri­b­u­tion is through deals with cable oper­a­tors, vir­tu­al­ly all of Netflix’s sub­scribers are direct.

Ama­zon is also a for­mi­da­ble com­peti­tor hav­ing devel­oped a video ser­vice for their Prime mem­bers which num­ber close to 100 mil­lion glob­al­ly.  Amazon’s annu­al fee of $99 is less than Net­flix and HBO and includes free two day ship­ping as well as a host of oth­er free ben­e­fits.

What is it like to Work at HBO:

Here are some of the com­ments post­ed by for­mer employ­ees on Glass­door:

“Great brand, vast growth oppor­tu­ni­ties and work cul­ture is empow­er­ing.”

“Good Life/Work bal­ance (depend­ing on your boss), incred­i­ble shows & con­tent, most­ly great peo­ple. If you have the right super­vi­sor, work­ing at HBO is excel­lent.”

“Like a coun­try club, with gym, huge catered cafe­te­ria and the­ater”

But not all com­ments are pos­i­tive:

“Lead­er­ship is sore­ly lack­ing and has been for the past decade. The edge that cre­at­ed the brand and busi­ness mod­el was lost when fear of com­pe­ti­tion, espe­cial­ly from Net­flix, start­ed to dri­ve deci­sion mak­ing process.”

“Lit­tle to no room for career growth. Risk adversed upper man­age­ment. Not a lot of oppor­tu­ni­ty to see your ideas come to fruition. Some depts are tox­ic, many don’t work well togeth­er, which slows down pro­duc­tiv­i­ty.”

“Because of this con­flu­ence of fac­tors: high entry com­pe­ti­tion, high salaries and ben­e­fits, low chal­lenge, the com­pa­ny gets a lot of overqual­i­fied high­ly intel­li­gent peo­ple who are bored out of their minds but can’t jus­ti­fy quit­ting.”

Looks like HBO is going to grow through trans­for­ma­tion.  Its abil­i­ty to grow its direct busi­ness while try­ing to main­tain its cur­rent base will deter­mine its abil­i­ty to com­pete and suc­ceed.

So HBO could be a great place to find suc­cess by becom­ing a cat­a­lyst of its trans­for­ma­tion.

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