American comic book fans who have yet to give DC Universe a chance will soon be able to sample the service's original programming for free since, for a limited time, the first episodes of Titans, Doom Patrol and Young Justice: Outsiders will be available for anyone to watch without paying for a subscription.
Launching in September 2018, DC Universe offers one of the most unique digital experiences in all of fandom. More than a mere subscription service like Hulu or Netflix, DC Universe goes beyond offering only streaming access to television series and feature-length films, also granting its subscribers access to an online archive of classic comic books produced by DC Comics. Yet the service also offers original programming based on DC Comics unavailable anywhere else, such as the upcoming Swamp Thing and Stargirl series.
In a bid to allow potential subscribers to see what they've been missing, DC Universe is making the first episodes of all of its original series released to date available for free. Beginning on Friday, March 15 and continuing through Friday, March 29, anyone in the United States will able to view the first episodes of Titans, Young Justice: Outsiders and Doom Patrol on the DC Universe website or by downloading the DC Universe app. No registration information or payment information will be required to view those episodes during this two week period.
This initiative marks a bold move for DC Universe, which it is hoped will attract more regular subscribers. While DC Universe has steadily grown in popularity since its launch (with Titans attracting more viewers as its first season progressed) and its original series have all been critically acclaimed, the service still seems to be having trouble attracting subscribers. Certainly Doom Patrol seems to have had trouble drawing as much buzz as The Umbrella Academy - a similarly strange superhero show, which premiered on the same day and become a huge hit for Netflix.
Still, the future is looking bright for DC Universe. While offering a much more focused selection of material than other subscription services, DC Universe is also cheaper at only $7.99 per month, with an annual rate that reduces the subscription cost even further. Accounting for the size of the online comic book archive, that's a tremendous bargain costing roughly the same as two new printed comic books, even without factoring in the value of the original programming and classic TV series and movies. Given that, there is reason to be hopeful that DC Universe may be able to build its brand in the wake of this free sampling.