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HBO Max and Snapchat partner to allow US users to use the app Co-watch select series pilots with up to 63 others for free via Snap Mini (Sarah Perez/TechCrunch).

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HBO Max and Snapchat partner to allow US users to use the app
Co-watch select series pilots with up to 63 others for free
via Snap Mini (Sarah Perez/TechCrunch).

HBO Max has partnered with Snap in order to offer free episodes of its original programming to Snapchat users in the U.S. as a way to increase sign-ups for its streaming service. The episodes will be streamed via Snap Mini, the company’s small-sized third-party apps that are available within Snapchat. Users will be able to view top titles such as “Gossip Girl,” as well as favorite shows like “Game of Thrones,” while they chat with their friends.

Snapchat users can launch the HBO Max Mini experience by clicking the rocket icon in Chat or via Search. To access an age-appropriate collection of episodes, viewers will need to enter their birthdate.

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The Snap Mini experience offers interactive elements that make the experience even more exciting than simply streaming TV from your phone. Snapchat users can invite up to 63 friends to watch the shows together by sending in-chat messages with a link to the Snap Mini, or sending a clickable sticker URL using Snapchat’s camera. If others join the Mini, their playback will sync with their friends’ viewing and they can chat while they share Bitmoji reactions and watch. Snapchat has just released an upgrade to Bitmoji that includes 3D Bitmoji. However, this experience is focused on user profiles.

Last year, co-watching was popularized by the pandemic because family members and friends were separated under COVID lockdown. Users couldn’t meet up in person so they connected online to share TV and movies. Third-party extensions such as Netflix Party and other services made it possible. Hulu and Amazon Prime Video are two examples of streamers that have integrated co-watching features directly into their platforms. HBO Max teamed up with Scener, a browser extension maker, to make co-watching possible.

HBO Max’s Snap Mini is offering friends a new way to connect online about favorite shows. It’s not about just chatting in the streamers’ app but about sharing a viewing experience with other people to encourage sign-ups to the paid subscription.

WarnerMedia, HBO Max’s owner says that the Snap Mini will be used to encourage users to subscribe. The Snap Mini will also offer the option to visit HBO Max after each episode is over so they can keep watching the series. According to the company, this will only be available for users aged 18 and over.

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The Snap Mini experience lets users try some of HBO Max content before they commit to becoming a paid subscriber. This is an alternative to the free trial, where they will need to enter their payment card details.

All titles will be updated on an ongoing basis. For now, however, HBO Max will offer the first episode of a variety of shows, including “Craftopia,” Euphoria,” and “The Flight Attendant.” Also, “Genera+ion,” and “Gossip Girl,” (2021). “Looney Tunes,” Love Life,” Lovecraft Country,” and “Selena + chef.” The lineup will also include Episode 1 of Season 2 of “Betty.”

“People love to get together to watch HBO Max and discuss what’s happening,” stated Sarah Lyons, HBO Max EVP, DTC Global Product Management. Our partnership with Snapchat is another step in fulfilling this desire for human connection. It provides our fans with coviewing opportunities and deepens their emotional relationship with us. She said that humans value recommendations from others and that friends can suggest content, then watch it together.

Published on Tue, 20 July 2021 21:18.32 +0000

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