HBO Max to launch $9.99/mo ad-supported tier without same-day movie releases [Updated]

Despite being less than a year old, HBO Max has quickly become one of the most important streaming services on the market, thanks to an extensive content library and same-day movie releases this year. This week, WarnerMedia revealed that a more affordable, ad-supported HBO Max tier will be coming soon.

During an Investor Day call, WarnerMedia confirmed some of its plans for the future of HBO Max, projecting between 120 and 150 million subscribers by the end of 2025. Key to that growth is an ad-supported HBO Max tier that drives down the monthly cost of the subscription.

This new ad-supported tier will apparently go live in the United States, the first market that got HBO Max, in June of this year. Around the same time, 39 territories in Latin America and the Caribbean are expected to get the service, with 21 markets in Europe gaining support in late 2021.

It’s important to note that this new HBO Max subscription tier won’t be free, only showing ads to give the service a lower point of entry. This can be compared to Hulu, which charges $5.99 per month with ads, but $11.99 per month without them. According to WarnerMedia CEO, ads on HBO Max will be implemented “elegantly.”

Update 4/29: Ahead of the release of this new ad-supported tier of HBO Max, WarnerMedia has confirmed its price point. The new tier will be $9.99 per month reports CNBC, a $5 discount compared to the ad-free version.

Here’s the catch, though. This ad-supported HBO Max tier won’t include access to the same-day movie releases that has so many people hyped up about the service right now (via CordCuttersNews). That’s a shame, but it’s pretty easy to see where WarnerMedia is coming from, too. Even if the ad tier is half the cost of the standard $14.99/month option, there’s a lot of potential for lost revenue with these big-budget films that are already taking cuts due to the pandemic. A shame, but one that’s mostly understandable. On the bright side, ads won’t be tacked on to HBO Max Originals with that tier.

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