Free samples are a quick way to get customers hooked. Whether it’s a specific grocery item at a big box store or a TV streaming service, if you give people a free taste of what’s to come, then you might be able to eventually get them to pay down the line. Apple is doing it with its own customers for the launch of the tech company’s streaming service, and it appears that WarnerMedia is going to do that in regards to its own upcoming platform, HBO Max.
AT&T Chief Operating Officer John Stankey revealed to Reuters that HBO Max will be given away free to customers of Direct TV and AT&T TV Now who also subscribe to HBO currently. Much like HBO Go, which is the free streaming platform for subscribers of the premium cable network, HBO Max will be a value-added proposition when it launches in spring 2020.
This isn’t altogether shocking, considering the fact that AT&T recently completed a buyout of Warner Bros, which was then turned into WarnerMedia. Why not give away your streaming service to your own customers? Makes sense. At least, at first. It’s still unclear how long this promotion will last.
In the case of Apple, who is giving away Apple TV+ to customers who buy a new device, the promotion only lasts 12 months, and then the $4.99 per month fee applies. It’ll be interesting to see how long free HBO Max lasts for AT&T customers, as it’s assumed that people who subscribe to HBO will eventually have to pay an additional fee for HBO Max.
Even though HBO is in the title of both services, the premium network is very different than the streaming platform. Obviously, the titles from the network will make their way onto the streaming service, but Max will also be home to a ton of WarnerMedia films and TV series, including the entire run of popular sitcom “Friends.”
We’ll likely hear more about the plans for the future when WarnerMedia fully gives all the information about the launch of HBO Max, including the date, price, and availability.