The free programming is part of HBO’s #StayHomeBoxOffice initiative
In advance of launching the new streaming service, HBO Max, HBO is doing their part to ease us into our new quarantine life by making 500 hours of programming available for free for a limited time. The promotion kicks off today, April 3, so you’ve already got your weekend plans all set.
Even if you’re currently a non-subscriber, you can stream series like Veep, The Wire, Succession, Barry, Silicon Valley, Ballers, and even some old-school hits like The Sopranos and Six Feet Under.
The promotion also includes an assortment of popular HBO documentaries and Warner Bros. movies — so there’s plenty for the whole family, too: Pokemon Detective Pikachu, Happy Feet 2, Smallfoot, and The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part will give your children something to do other than beat each other up and ask you for their 500th snack of the day.
While we’re all strictly abiding by our stay-at-home directives (if you’re not, shame on you), television streaming has been, obviously, a hugely popular way to kill some time. HBO, owned by WarnerMedia, is just one of the many companies hopping on board to make some of its programming available at no cost to non-customers. Amazon and Broadway HD are also giving us a break with some quality, free programming to get us through our quarantine blues and distract us from, oh, I don’t know *gestures widely at everything.*
The Verge reports that the television industry as a whole saw a 20 percent increase last week compared to the month before, and that HBO Now alone saw the highest usage on its platform since summer. The percentage of people binge-viewing series has increased 65 percent, while movie watching is up 70 percent on HBO Now.
Netflix’s chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, told CNN that Netflix has seen a surge in streams. Third-party companies have reported seeing massive increases in usage and subscription signups for streaming platforms like Disney Plus. YouTube Gaming saw a 15 percent growth in viewership now that everyone is at home — and parents are working from home. We do not have childcare, so streaming is now kind of that.
Prior to the official launch of HBOMax in May, this is a pretty smart move for the company. It’s showing non-subscribers what they can get if they sign up for it, which will cost $14.99 per month.
Starting today, the all-access offer runs for the month of April. Enjoy your old favorites and some new ones while we’re all safe at home for the next four weeks/months/years.