• Kirby Grines

HBO’s made its best content free for a limited time, however, they're missing a critical opportunity

Last Friday, HBO began offering over 500 hours of its best TV shows and movies for free across all HBO Now and HBO Go properties on all platforms - web, mobile, or connected TV. The company said the plan is to provide the free content for a month in order to attract fans to HBO Max which launches next month. This is without-a-doubt a gesture of goodwill in tough times that I wholeheartedly appreciate.

If HBO is using this 30 days of free content in order to boost HBO Max subscribers, what I don’t understand is why aren’t they at least asking viewers for the email address in exchange? Give us your email for free HBO. I’m fairly confident most people would be fine with that value exchange.

When this offer ends next month, HBO’s not going to have a single viewer email from the offer, missing a critical, effective, economic, and measurable marketing opportunity. Considering a majority of HBO Now subscribers are sold through Amazon Channels, HBO’s already relatively light on customer data (because Amazon owns it). This campaign was an opportunity to ultimately drive more pure direct-to-consumer subscribers.

Elsewhere in the WarnerMedia family, Turner Sports and the NBA has been providing fans with free access to full length and condensed replays of all games from the 2019-20 season, as well as an expansive archive of classic games via the NBA League Pass subscription service. However, in order to access any free content, they ask for your email address which I was happy to provide.

And come next fall when I receive a nudge via email to sign up for the 2020-21 season, I probably will.

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