HBO Puts Episode Music Guides Online

Offers playlists, links to iTunes for tracks featured in episodes of ‘Treme,’ ‘Entourage’

HBO’s haunting new series Treme has music at its core, with the protagonist Antoine Batiste being a trombonist and the series itself named for a section of New Orleans famous for its music.

This focus on music is carrying over to the series’ online component. Users checking out the Treme Website on HBO.com will see what the network calls an “episode music guide,” a prominent section highlighting sounds from each episode. Users clicking through will see the name of the song and artist, as well as where the music appeared in the episode.

It also features a “buy” button on the right side of the screen that leads to Apple’s iTunes music store, where viewers can quickly purchase any of the songs they like. By referring users to iTunes, HBO will get a cut of the sale, though for most companies referral revenue is generally so small as to be inconsequential.

Treme may feature music more prominently than most HBO shows, but it was not the first series to get the online music guide treatment. An HBO spokesperson says the network has had playlists for selected shows, including Entourage, for months, though when HBO.com relaunched in January, the guides received more prominent placement on the show pages.

In addition to Treme and Entourage, HBO guides are also available for How to Make It in America.