HBO Max will begin offering ad-supported subscriptions in June, and the streamer’s newly announced pricing structure indicates viewers can save $5 a month if they opt for it instead of an ad-free expreience. The tiered pricing structure was announced during the annual upfront presentations of HBO parent company WarnerMedia, during which WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar promised the new structure would deliver “the most brand safe, elegant experience” for advertisers.
Beginning the first week of June, users will be able to pay $9.99 per month for the ad-supported experience, down from the ad-free version at $14.99 per month. HBO Max promised to deliver “the lightest ad load in the streaming industry.”
Both HBO Max tiers include access to all the same content from across WarnerMedia brands, including HBO, Warner Bros., DC, Turner Classic Movies, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, and more. The ad-supported version will only exclude Warner Bros. same-day premiere films debuting in theaters and on HBO Max throughout 2021.
“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,” said Tony Goncalves, EVP and Chief Revenue Officer for WarnerMedia.
The pricing structure was revealed days after news hit that WarnerMedia parent company AT&T intends to acquire Discovery for a planned merger and spinoff. Discovery assets include Animal Planet, TLC, HGTV, Food Network, and the Discovery Channel, all of which can be found on its streaming service Discovery+. While many lingering questions remain in the wake of the deal, it certainly remains to be seen whether Discovery Plus might be folded into the overall HBO Max package, or if it will be bundled together in some way.
“HBO Max with ads provides a superior marketing environment, featuring the lightest ad load in the streaming industry, driving engagement with consumers and efficacy for our partners,” said JP Colaco, Head of Advertising Sales for WarnerMedia. “Couple that with beloved premium content spanning all genres and audience segments, and we are delivering the best ad offering available in market today.”
HBO Max is also scheduled to launch (without ads) in 39 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean in late June, and the HBO-branded streaming services in Europe (the Nordics, Spain, Central Europe, and Portugal) are scheduled to be upgraded to HBO Max later this year.