HBO Max to Launch Cheaper Ad-Supported Tier in June
For decades, the HBO name has been synonymous with uncut, uncensored, and totally commercial-free entertainment. And while the HBO cable channel is staying that way for now, the new HBO Max streaming service is not — at least where commercials are concerned.
At the WarnerMedia 2021 upfronts, the company officially announced the launch of “HBO Max With Ads,” a new ad-supported version of the service. While the standard HBO Max costs $14.99 a month, HBO Max With Ads costs $9.99 for a monthly subscription. For five bucks less, you get access to the same HBO Max library — with the very important exception of Warner Bros.’ same-day premieres of films that are playing in theaters in 2021. So, for example, if you want to watch The Matrix 4 on HBO Max later this year, you’ll need the full-priced HBO Max to do it. Apparently only those who take the blue pill may subscribe to HBO Max With Ads.
Tony Goncalves, the Chief Revenue Officer of WarnerMedia had this to say about HBO Max With Ads:
HBO Max with Ads will bring our beloved entertainment brands and franchises to even more consumers at this new, lower price point-while, for the first time, elegantly connecting brands to the premium, iconic IP that defines this service.
I am genuinely curious who will sign up for a $10-a-month subscription service with ads. That price makes HBO Max With Ads more expensive than Netflix and Disney+, neither of which have ads. Most ad-supported streaming services, like Tubi, IMDb TV, and Crackle are free; the rest are significantly cheaper to join. (Hulu costs $5.99 a month, Peacock’s Premium tier with ads is $4.99.) HBO Max does have one of the best libraries of any of these options — but is it good enough to justify paying $10 to then sit through ads for subscription medications and car insurance? We’ll see; HBO Max With Ads launches the first week of June.
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