Talk about a tease!
HBO announced on April 12 that it would be sharing the pilots for two of its newest original comedy series, "Girls" (starring Lena Dunham) and "Veep" (starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus), to all audiences -- including non-subscribers -- for free.
One day after the exclusive April 15 and April 22 HBO network premieres of "Girls" and "Veep," respectively, these first episodes will be available for viewing on HBO.com, YouTube, DailyMotion, TV.com, and various Free On Demand platforms. In addition, viewers will be able to download the episode of "Veep" for free on iTunes.
Unfortunately, this offer will only last from April 16 through May 14 for "Girls" and from April 23 through May 21 for "Veep." And, if you end up liking the shows after watching the first episodes, it looks like you'll have to subscribe to HBO to continue viewing them.
While this move is sure to bring HBO some new subscribers (if the shows end up being good, that is), it's likely YouTube will benefit in a similar way, as this offer is simply another incentive to users to view more than just funny videos of animals playing with tech gadgets, for instance.
Last month, Disney began offering free full-length episodes of some of its most popular shows on its YouTube channel, and YouTube even acquired its own live comedy show, "My Damn Channel Live." More recently, YouTube scored a deal with Paramount, which will soon allow it to offer online rentals of close to 500 feature-length Paramount films.
Will you be spending more time on YouTube if more networks offer deals like this? What do you think of the moves YouTube has made so far? Let us know in the comments!