Tuesday, August 3, 2021



Digital streaming services have become a dime a dozen on the internet these days, spurred by the necessity and growth opportunity from the ongoing COVID pandemic. With so many streaming options to choose from that have expansive libraries of content, the providers need to make the most appealing offers to prospective binge-watchers for their monthly fees. One traditional way to entice users of paid online services has been the free trial period, with Netflix once being very ubiquitous about it. WarnerMedia’s HBO Max platform used to offer these as well. But even though they have since stopped, they have another idea to attract paying customers.

That would be, according to The Verge, offering a rotating selection of episodic content from their premium library, absolute free of charge for viewing. WarnerMedia announced as much this past Tuesday, August 3, that beginning that day they will put up free episodes of their original programming from HBO and HBO Max that can be accessed and viewed by visitors that have not signed up for the service yet. These episodes will change randomly and periodically, so one cannot expect to see a whole season’s worth of content this way. They are full-length teasers after all, to encourage actual signups.

But all the same, the HBO/Max Originals getting their episodes offered free in this new system are a formidable selection, from a classic of the past decade like “Game of Thrones,” to their slew of DC TV shows like “Batwoman,” “Harley Quinn” and “Doom Patrol” just to name a few. Even better, non-members will be able to actually browse the HBO Max site or app, to see their media catalog. Series with episodes included in the current rotation of free offerings will be distinctively marked from their fellow eps, which become viewable after signing up.

Nowadays it feels like the time when streaming services gave free trial periods has now gone. HBO Max infamously terminated their initial one-week trial ahead of the streaming release of “Wonder Woman 1984,” and even Netflix has terminated its own once-generous trial periods. While HBO Max is not yet as widespread in global availability, it does have plenty of partner devices that allow access to it: PlayStation Network, Xbox, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast, Roku, Android and iOS, and smart TVs from Samsung and LG. That is all the better to check out the free episodes too, until they get rotated out.

Image courtesy of WarnerMedia website


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