In an effort to break through to a more non-traditional audience, HBO is using non-traditional means to share their programming. Their first salvo is putting tonight’s season premiere of Girls on YouTube for free. From Mashable:
HBO will upload the first two episodes of Girls season three onto the network’s YouTube channel on Jan. 13 at 10 a.m. ET, just 12 hours after they premiere on HBO.
Rather than requiring fans to watch live during Sunday’s two-part premiere or forcing them to catch up using its HBO GO subscription service, offering the episodes for free on YouTube is one way the network is courting the show’s active online fan base.
“For us, this is an increasingly challenging demographic to reach with traditional means,” Sabrina Caluori, HBO’s vice-president of social media and marketing, told Mashable.
HBO decided to “be social first” with the way its marketing team released announcements, taking advantage of “emerging platforms” such as Tumblr, Instagram, Vine and even Snapchat, as well as social giants such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.
The opinion on Girls is clearly divisive, but it is a show that is sure to get people talking. Jumping on that buzz is probably a good idea for HBO, no matter how many bone headed questions it creates in reporter’s minds.
If this is successful, who knows what else HBO might try in the future. Could other programming benefit from a free peek online? Game of Thrones is already one of the most pirated shows on the planet and they’re attempting the same social strategy with it, so I guess we shall see the outcome soon enough.
This could be a nice starting point for new people to jump onto Girls and enjoy the series. It might also be a chance for folks who watched once to give the series a fresh look and update their opinion.
More than likely it’ll probably end up being a messy shout fest and one of the few times users will be happy Google+ is in charge of the comments.
(Lead image via HBO)
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