Move over YouTube. Facebook is stepping in as the new sampling service.
In another first for the premium cable company that recently launched an over-the-top streaming service, HBO is set to release the premiere episodes of its new Sunday night comedies, “Ballers” and “The Brink” via Facebook. Starting Wednesday, June 24, Facebook users can visit Dwayne Johnson’s page to watch his new dramedy and then check out Jack Black and Tim Robbins’ political satire via the show’s official Facebook page.
Unlike other sampling efforts made via YouTube (from HBO, Showtime and various other networks), videos on Facebook aren’t shareable on other web pages. While one may think that could short-arm the reach of the free sampling — designed to hook viewers with one episode so they’ll pay to watch the full season or series — the massive social media network offers a direct connection to fan bases of its stars, creators and the network itself. HBO can count on promotion across various social media tools (Twitter, Instragram, etc.) from popular fan pages for Johnson, Black, and HBO, while Facebook can rest assured all views will come back through to their site.
Each episode is available for a limited time. “Ballers” includes a special introduction from The Rock himself, and “The Brink” brings in its stars and creators to tease their premiere. Use the links above to check out the episodes for yourself, and then tell us in the comments if each episode is good enough for you to subscribe to HBO.
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