HBO Max has utilized a number of different strategies to bring in more subscribers — from providing 2021 Warner Bros. movies on the same day as in theaters at no extra cost to creating an ad-supported version of its streaming service. It’s latest strategy hopes that once non-subscribers get a taste of some of the programming that’s available on HBO Max they feel compelled to sign up to continue watching.
As of Aug. 3, U.S. consumers that are not currently subscribed to HBO Max can watch select episodes of HBO, HBO Max Originals or other WarnerMedia programs within the HBO Max app for free. The initial shows available through this deal are Batwoman, Euphoria, Game of Thrones, Harley Quinn, Lovecraft Country, Love Life, Perry Mason, Raised by Wolves, The Flight Attendant, Titans, Veneno, Warriors and Doom Patrol. All of the available episodes are the shows’ pilots, except for Doom Patrol, which is offering the first episode of its second season.
HBO Max is expected to rotate the titles in and out periodically.
In addition to being able to watch these episodes for free, this feature allows non-subscribers to browse the entire HBO Max library in-app. Clear distinctions are made on what content is available to watch for free and what is not.
This offering of free episodes is in line with HBO Max’s recent partnership with Snapchat, where it offers select episodes to be watched for free through the Snapchat app.
HBO Max continues to grow as a service. The last official report from WarnerMedia said that the combined subscribers for HBO and HBO Max had reached 47 million; meanwhile it continues to add platforms where it is available, including most recently LG smart TVs.
In addition to the shows being made available for free, HBO Max is the home to all of HBO’s library of classic TV shows like The Sopranos, The Wire, as well as its own HBO Max original series like Hacks. It also features a vast library of newer and classic movies, and specialty channels from the likes of Turner Classic Movies, DC Comics, Looney Tunes and more.
HBO Max features two subscription packages. The $14.99 per month deal is the full HBO Max offering, including the day-and-date releases of 2021 Warner Bros. movies, all ad-free. The $9.99 per month subscription is ad-supported, features all HBO Max content except the day-and-date releases of 2021 Warner Bros. movies and is missing features like 4K or offline viewing.
Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun.
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