Redesigning the Digital Economy Through Individual Business Plans


HBO will soon be offering the Nordic region  its programming that will be available to consumers without requiring that they have a pay-TV subscription. This is the first market where HBO has allowed access to it’s online viewing database for free, but the HBO channel will still be “available for less than 10 euros per month or as an add-on to basic pay-TV subscriptions in the region.”  HBO announces this move soon after the announcement that Netflix will also be entering the Nordic region with a similar business model.

A HBO spokes person explains that this model does not reflect a strategic change for the company in any other current markets.  The business model for the Nordic region is specifically tailored to position themselves as the strongest competitor in this unique market.  “The announcement marks a major shift for HBO’s traditional business model, which has always required paying a monthly surcharge for a linear channel on top of a basic subscription to cable, satellite and telco providers. Even in other markets outside the U.S., HBO has either pursued that business model or simply licensed its programming to existing networks. HBO does have a standalone digital product active in Poland, but it is rather small.”

After reading Henry Jenkins’ “The Cultural Logic of Media Convergence,”  I thought that HBO’s solution to media control was very interesting.  Jenkins explains that one of the major areas where important negotiations between producers and consumers are most likely to occur is redesigning the digital economy.  While there is a shift towards subscription based models, such as Netflix, there is also talk for a micropayment system. HBO’s decision to create a unique business model for a specific region through the internet is unique and not an idea brought up by Jenkins.  The move made by HBO will be an interesting exploratory idea to follow in the on going debate over digital economy.

-Sarah E. Lempke

Henry Jenkins. “The Cultural Logic of Media Convergence.” International Journal of Cultural Studies, Vol. 7(1):33-43.

Andrew Wallenstein. “HBO Cuts the Cord for International Launch”:



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