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HBO Max to launch ad-supported tier (Update: Price confirmed, no early films)

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  • A cheaper HBO Max ads-supported tier is on the way.
  • Starting in June, this new tier will go live alongside the current $15-per-month ads-free tier.
  • AT&T confirmed the price will be $9.99 and won’t have access to the newest movies.

Update, May 19, 2021 (01:27 PM ET): Although we heard a rumor that pricing for the HBO Max ads-supported tier would be $9.99-per-month, we now have confirmation. In a release today, the company confirmed that lower pricing.

However, it also confirmed that users of this cheaper tier will not have access to the same-day launch films that will happen for the rest of the year. This means only full subscribers will be able to watch the newest Warner Bros. films at home. This could change at the end of 2021 and this won’t prevent you from watching the films after their initial theater runs. But, that is a significant drawback to this cheaper plan.

Other than that major caveat, users will be able to view the entire HBO library. albeit with ad interruptions.


Original article, March 12, 2021 (10:53 AM ET): HBO Max is one of the most popular streaming services in the United States. However, it’s also one of the most expensive, coming in at $15-per-month. That’s nearly double a Netflix basic plan or a standard Disney Plus subscription.

In June 2021, though, a new HBO Max ads-supported tier will drop. This pricing tier will be less expensive than the $15 tier, which should allow the more price-conscious streaming fans to afford it.

Related: What is HBO Max? Everything you need to know

Unfortunately, AT&T — HBO’s parent company — wouldn’t disclose how much this tier would cost (although anonymous sources speaking with CNBC suggested $9.99). It also didn’t disclose how the ads would affect your viewing experience. Will there be pre-roll and mid-roll ads? How long will the ads be? Will the ads-free tier have access to all the same content as current subscribers? These answers are unknown for now.

However, we can go ahead and assume that this means current subscribers can sit comfortably knowing they won’t have ads in their HBO Max viewing any time soon. Obviously, current subscribers could downgrade their subscriptions to save cash and deal with ads, but the existence of an ad-supported tier all but guarantees there will continue to be an ads-free tier.

We’ll need to wait until June to get all the info on the HBO Max ads-supported pricing tier. Stay tuned!

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