Starting today, HBO Max is offering a new special feature to potential subscribers. The streaming service is attempting to increase viewership by revealing its slate and offering select episodes to stream for free.
If you’re on the fence about a subscription or are bumming off of a friend’s account, then you have some more time to figure out if it’s a good fit to sign up. Potential new subscribers in the U.S. now have the opportunity to watch select episodes from some of the platform’s most popular shows for free in-app. The in-app offering is an extension of the long-standing sampling opportunities available via HBOMax.com and, more recently, through Snapchat’s HBO Max Snap Mini.
In case you’re an elder millennial like me who doesn’t know much about Snapchat, this essentially allows Snapchatters to watch free episodes of HBO Max programming along with their friends within Snapchat.
What Can You Watch?
Viewers will also have the chance to check out the platform’s catalog of programming prior to committing to a subscription. This gives people the flexibility to watch a hand-picked selection of episodes in-app on their preferred supported device.
The free experience will initially include 13 episodes of HBO and Max Originals, with new titles being rotated in and out of the collection periodically. The free offering is rolling out today across all current HBO Max device partners.
Here’s a sample of what pilot episodes (season 1, episode 1) will be released first:
- Game of Thrones
- Harley Quinn
- Lovecraft Country
- Love Life
- Perry Mason
- Raised By Wolves
- The Flight Attendant
If you like what you see, HBO Max now provides consumers the flexibility to choose between the ad-free subscription option at $14.99 per month, or one with ads for $9.99 per month. For even further savings, HBO Max is now offering subscribers the option to pre-pay and save more than 15% by signing up for the ad-supported tier of HBO Max for $99.99/year or without ads for $149.99/year.
It doesn’t seem like a coincidence that HBO Max is offering this free glimpse into their streaming content when the U.S. is seeing a surge in cases from the Delta variant. We’ve been in this pandemic for over a year and a half now and just when things were starting to open back up, mask mandates and occupancy limitations started going back to be the norm. As a result, we will probably see more and more people stay at home for their film and TV viewing.
While movie theaters across the country have opened back up, films are still getting digital streaming releases fairly quickly, so this marketing ploy from HBO Max definitely makes sense.
HBO Max does have some fantastic programming, though, to be fair. As someone who works from home, I do enjoy the convenience of being able to stream movies and TV shows fairly easily. I am also one of those annoying binge-watchers with minimal patience. So, for others like me who get a glimpse into a series that has a really intriguing pilot episode, chances are that I will find a way to watch more. This is also an interesting move in the sense that it will probably propel viewers to watch shows that they have had on their to-watch list forever. For example, those who will eventually get around to Game of Thrones will now understand all the hype (and disappointment).
If you’re interested, here are some of my must-watch recommendations on HBO Max: Insecure, Mare of Easttown, Barry, Euphoria, Lovecraft Country, Betty, and I’ll Be Gone in the Dark.
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