HBO to Stream Episodes, Enable Watch Parties on Snapchat

Thanks to a new partnership between WarnerMedia’s HBO Max and social messaging platform Snapchat, up to 64 Snapchatters will be able to co-watch full-length episodes of HBO series via the HBO Max Mini, part of the Snap Minis feature, which debuted last year to host third-party experiences through the social app. With Minis, the user can access Headspace to meditate, buy movie tickets with friends via Atom and, now, watch entire HBO episodes including pilots of “Lovecraft Country” and “Game of Thrones.” Viewers will be able to synchronize playback and watch the same title together.

The Verge reports that users can access HBO Max episodes via search or “by clicking the rocket icon from chat.” Users will then “be required to verify their date of birth, which will filter which episodes are streamable.” Other series available are “Betty,” “Euphoria, “The Flight Attendant,” “Gossip Girl,” “Craftopia,” “Genera+ion,” “Looney Tunes,” “Love Life,” “Selena + Chef,” “Titans,” “Warrior” and “World of Calm.”

The pilot episodes are free to stream, even for those who are not HBO Max subscribers. But users 18 years and older “will be prompted to subscribe to HBO Max to continue streaming a series once the pilot episode has ended.”

Users can co-watch “through a shared in-chat link or by clicking a shared sticker, and users will be able to chat and send reactions while streaming a title.” Other major streaming services have introduced watch parties, including Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Disney+.

Apple is planning a FaceTime integration to support group streaming with SharePlay. HBO Max on Minis “marks the first major streamer to support streaming entire episodes without ever leaving Snapchat.”

At HBO Max, executive vice president of DTC global product management Sarah Lyons said that, “our partnership with Snapchat is another step towards fulfilling that desire for human connection and providing our fans with co-viewing opportunities, while deepening their emotional relationship with the brand.”

Engadget reports that, “HBO Max isn’t the first streaming service to use another platform to attract users.” “Before its all too predictable death, Quibi let people watch pilots of its originals on YouTube,” it adds.

The WarnerMedia press release can be found here.

HBO Max and HBO Gain 2.8 Million Subscribers in Q2, AT&T Raises Year-End Target for Streaming Service, Variety, 7/22/21