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HBO Max launches cheaper ad-supported tier (Updated)

You now have the option of getting HBO Max for less money, but there are some restrictions besides viewing ads.

Published onJune 2, 2021

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  • A cheaper HBO Max ads-supported tier is now live on the streaming service.
  • This new tier is available alongside the more expensive $14.99-per-month ads-free tier.
  • The price for the cheaper subscription is $9.99 a month, but it won’t have access to the newest movies.

Update: June 2, 2021 (10:11 AM ET): In a press release, Warner Media confirmed that it has now launched its cheaper subscription tier for HBO Max. It costs $9.99 a month, and it is supported by ads. The more expensive $14.99 a month ad-free subscription tier is also still available. As previously announced, the cheaper tier will not give its subscribers access to Warner Bros. 2021 theatrical film lineup immediately. Subscribers of the $14.99 a month plan will still be able to watch those movies, including this Friday’s The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, day-and-date when they are released in theaters.

Warner Media says the ads for the $9.99 a month HBO Max plan will not exceed four minutes per hour. Ads will not be seen at all during HBO original movies and TV shows. Also, those users will not be able to download the service’s movies and TV shows for offline viewing on iOS and Android devices. Finally, the streaming video quality will be restricted to 1080p resolution.

Warner Media also announced that users can now sign up for annual subscriptions to HBO Max. The prices will be $99.99 for the ad-based tier and $149.99 for the ad-free plan.

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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