Free previews aren’t a new concept for premium networks looking to pull in new subscribers, but Starz is expanding on the idea by sharing one of its new shows across social media.
Starz announced that the premiere episode of its new series “Counterpart” is now available for free to viewers online at IGN.com, IGN’s Facebook and YouTube pages, Starz.com, the “Counterpart” Facebook page, STARZ YouTube channel and through participating U.S. cable, satellite and telco affiliates.
Starz isn’t the first network to use social media as a video platform to help drum up audience support for fledgling series. Last year, TNT debuted its new series “Claws” on Twitter shortly after its broadcast on the linear network.
"As we saw with our Full Frontal with Samantha Bee special in April, a streaming encore on Twitter has the power to reach new audiences and catch the attention of viewers who might not otherwise have sampled our show," said Michael Engleman, executive vice president of entertainment marketing and brand innovation at Turner, in a statement. "By giving viewers the opportunity to watch the premiere episode of Claws on Twitter, we're helping this terrific series build a strong fan base across the entirety of the season, and we're establishing a meaningful connection with those fans through social media engagement."
Earlier this month, Starz announced a content agreement with Bell Media to send its programming to Canada.
Bell will offer Starz content on The Movie Network Encore (which it plans to rebrand next year) to its pay TV customers, as well as through its streaming service CraveTV. The deal includes first pay window for Lionsgate's future theatrical releases in the territory.
After TMN Encore is rebranded in early 2019 and stocked with Starz programming and Lionsgate films and television series, the channel will also be made available on a direct-to-consumer basis. All Lionsgate films will also be available to subscribers of Bell Media's French-language Pay TV service, Super Écran.