If you’ve been keen to sample the new Halo TV show without losing pennies to a Paramount Plus subscription, now is your chance to do so.
The good folks over at Paramount studios have decided to make the first episode of the video game-inspired series, titled Contact, available to watch on YouTube free of charge until April 7.
Anyone living in a region where Paramount Plus is currently available (so the US, Australia, Canada, Latin America and the Nordics) can make use of this limited time promotion, though audiences elsewhere will have to wait a little longer for Halo’s small screen debut.
Eligible viewers can watch the full series premiere via the link below:
A nine-episode adaptation of two-decades-old game franchise, Paramount's big-budget TV series follows the exploits of Master Chief, a cybernetically enhanced super-soldier tasked with defending humanity from alien baddies the Covenant in the 26th century.
Having begun streaming on March 24, early reviews of the show were decidedly mixed, with some describing Halo as “an intriguing mess” and others calling it “solid enough to break the video game adaptation curse.”
In our own assessment of the Paramount Plus series, we said that – while visually impressive – it falls into the trap of pandering to both die-hard video game fans and everyday audiences, ultimately resulting in an imbalanced sci-fi adventure that struggles to please either party.
That being said, the series’ so-so reviews shouldn’t deter prospective fans from judging Halo for themselves, especially as its first episode is now available to stream for free.
As mentioned, though, UK viewers will have to wait until later in 2022 to catch Halo on Sky and Now TV, when Paramount Plus launches as part of the former, but, in the mean time, here's our guide on how to watch the Halo TV series online wherever you are right now.
Analysis: try before you buy
Not only does this limited time partnership with YouTube give fans the chance to sample the Halo TV show for free, but it also provides an opportunity for Paramount Plus to flex its muscles as a burgeoning new streaming service.
As the likes of Netflix, Disney Plus and HBO Max press on with growing libraries and subscriber bases, Paramount Plus is only now beginning to show its hand as a real player in the online entertainment market.
Recently, the streamer’s parent company, ViacomCBS, re-branded to Paramount Global (or, more simply, Paramount) in an effort to generate more name recognition for the company’s centerpiece studio. The announcement also came alongside a commitment to investing more than $6 billion in new streaming content over the next two years, with Paramount hoping its still-young streaming service will have surpassed 100 million subscribers by 2024.
To achieve that figure, the storied entertainment studio is banking on the appeal of its myriad franchises. In addition to the Halo TV show, Paramount Plus subscribers can soon look forward to a Knuckles-focused Sonic series and exclusivity benefits for movie franchises including Mission: Impossible, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and A Quiet Place.
So, while the middling success of Halo may not have provided the flying start studio bosses had hoped for, Paramount Plus is definitely on track to disrupt the streaming competition in the near future.