As we continue the wait for the first substantial Outlander season 4 teaser, can you believe that almost a year has passed since the release of the first season 3 teaser? That video was released back on April 17, 2017, and through the official Starz YouTube channel alone has almost 280,000 views. (That number is probably in the millions when you think about all of the different formats it has been viewed in over time.)
With this in mind, the next question that CarterMatt has is this: We have to be getting near the first official season 4 teaser, right? Well, not necessarily. This year Starz has already made a few moves with Outlander that they didn’t happen last year. For starters, there was that tiny tease with Jamie and Claire in America at the end of season 3. Meanwhile, they also released that scene earlier this year on the network itself. Those are two things that make this year a little different and as a result of that, they could choose to wait a little while longer for the teaser.
One thing we would be shocked by is seeing the teaser released in the next week or so, given the campaign that is going on for the season 3 DVD / Blu-Ray collection. With there already being a source out there for Outlander-related publicity, it may be wiser to release a new teaser when there is some downtime and not as much conversation happening about the show. They are getting that organically now as-is.
The larger question surrounding this teaser is simply this: What is the overall value of it as a product? Is it really to court diehard viewers? It’s hard to imagine so, given that these are viewers would watch the show regardless of if any content is being put out for it in advance. (Obviously, we’re not advocating for that, but Starz already has many of these fans dedicated to the show!) Meanwhile, teasers in particular cannot be used to win over many new viewers given that you’re asking a lot of someone to watch a teaser in April and then remember to watch the show itself in September or October. This is coming from someone who often forgets why they go into the kitchen half of the time!
The real function of a teaser is momentary excitement and community-building. It’s not so much about a reminder for something as it is an invitation for discussions about the show. It’s a chance to generate fun talks on social media and hopefully, convince both returning and new viewers to research the show or go back and watch past episodes. We live in the era of instant gratification and these previews have to serve as something beyond just teasing events months down the road. They must also work to the immediate benefit of the network. Starz has shown to be very smart with this over time in finding ways throughout the year to keep the conversation going. For example, their preview in January offered incentive for viewers to subscribe to Starz for an additional month just to check it out. Releasing a teaser in the spring may offer a brief subscription boost for people hoping to watch the first three seasons.
No matter the purpose, teasers are essential beyond just promotion for what’s around the bend; hopefully, the latest one arrives our way soon.
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