HBO Using Rap Mixtapes to Reach Black and Hispanic Audiences?
In what has to be one of the strangest collaborations in recent memory, HBO has announced it will be releasing a rap and hip-hop themed mixtape as a means of promoting their hit series Game of Thrones
. Their target audience? HBO's urban and "multicultural" audience - African-Americans and Latinos to be more specific.
While Game of Thrones
consistently brings in monster ratings for HBO, the network is hoping to continue expanding the show's reach beyond its current audience. "Our multicultural audiences are a very important part of our subscribers, and we don't want to take them for granted," said Lucinda Martinez, HBO's senior vice president for multicultural marketing told The Wall Street Journal. This particular idea came about when HBO's marketing team became aware that "celebrity influencers" in the rap and hip-hop community were big fans of the show and spent time promoting it on their social media platforms.
As HBO's subscriber audience is roughly 73% white, with only 17% black and 12% Hispanic viewership reported, the network is hoping to reach out to more minority households to increase viewership. Hence, the mixtape. All of the songs on the album (10 total) include references to events and characters from the series, and some of the series's score and dialogue will also be mixed into the various songs. Rappers Big Boi and Wale are among the artists that have lent their talents to the album, which is entitled "Catch the Throne."