In an attempt to increase black and Latino viewership of ‘Game of Thrones’ HBO hires rappers.
It is difficult to believe that hip-hop does not affect what clothes people wear, what bottles of champagne is cool, or what sneakers to buy.
In order to tap into the influence of the billion dollar subculture and reach urban audiences, HBO, the premium cable channel, has hired 10 hip hop artists to rap about the television series, Game of Thrones.
The result is a 10-song hip-hop “mixtape” called “Catch the Throne,” expected to be released online on Friday. The network said that they hope the mixtape will encourage more rap fans to watch the show.
Hip-Hop artists such as Common, Big Boi of the Atlanta-based hip hop group Outkast, as well as several other reggaeton artists such as Daddy Yankee have laid down their lyrics on topics surrounding “Game of Thrones”.
The mission of the network is to reach out to the show’s urban, and “multicultural” audience, a demographic that includes African Americans and Latinos, and help capture more viewers, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“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.
According to Nielsen data, 16.8% of HBO’s prime-time viewership was black last year, while 12.3% was Hispanic and 72.9% was white. The channel’s black viewership has decreased over the past two years, while the percentage of Hispanic viewers is also declining.
Ultimately, the mixtape is a strategy to attract more viewers. The network has been struggling to get more subscribers to sign up for their channel. The HBO subscriber base has been stuck at 30 million in the United States for the last few years, according to the WSJ.
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