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HBO will show the two-part 'Girls' season premiere on YouTube for free

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Girls Season 3 screencap
Girls Season 3 screencap

HBO has decided to offer the first two episodes of Girls for free on YouTube. Fans without a cable subscription or access to HBO Go will be able to watch tomorrow at 10am EST, 12 hours after tonight's two-part season three premiere.

HBO told Mashable that it is exploring social media strategies to keep up with its massive online audience. "For us, this is an increasingly challenging demographic to reach with traditional means," Sabrina Caluori, HBO's vice-president of social media and marketing, told the site. Indeed, HBO launched a Snapchat account for the Lena Dunham star vehicle earlier this month as a way of building buzz for the new season.

It's a good move on HBO's part, creating a new avenue for fans and newcomers to find their way to the show while also creating an incentive to sign up for cable. Comcast and Time Warner both offer cheaper cable plans with HBO included, in the hopes of attracting customers who would otherwise stream all their content. Still, the network is pretty nimbly playing on both sides. And with Netflix becoming an ever more important player in TV, the industry is clearly shifting.