HBO Max Will Now Let You Pay Them $10 to Watch Ads

Illustration for article titled HBO Max Will Now Let You Pay Them $10 to Watch Ads
Photo: Presley Ann/Getty Images for WarnerMedia (Getty Images)

Following rumblings earlier this year that HBO was planning to launch a cheaper ad-supported tier of HBO Max, HBO has officially announced HBO Max with Ads.

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Starting at $10 a month and going live the first week of June, HBO Max with Ads comes cost $5 less than the full ad-free tier of HBO Max ($15 a month). And while that price seems a bit high for people to still be subjected to commercials, HBO claims HBO Max with Ads will have the “lightest ad load in the streaming industry, coupled with the most premium content.” Though what that actually looks like for real remains to be seen—and it’s always possible things will change.

Similar to the ad-free tier, HBO Max with Ads offers the same library of movies and original shows as regular HBO Max, along with content from other brands under the WarnerMedia umbrella such as DC Comics, Cartoon Network, Turner Classic Movies, and more.

However, the one critical difference between HBO Max with Ads and the premium ad-free tier is that HBO Max with Ads subscribers will not get access to Warner Bros. Same-Day Premiere films, which recently saw blockbuster movies such as Wonder Woman 1984, Godzilla vs. Kong, and Mortal Kombat available to stream at home the same day as their theatrical release.

By launching a paid ad-supported tier, HBO Max is looking to offer a similar range of tiers and pricing to other streaming services like Hulu. But Hulu’s ad-supported tier costs just $6 a month, positioning HBO Max as the more premium option.

The one big question will be how the recently announced merger between WarnerMedia and Discovery will affect HBO Max’s library of content going forward. With that deal not expected to be finalized until sometime in 2022, there’s still some time before everything will be sorted out.

Senior reporter at Gizmodo, formerly Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag. Was an archery instructor and a penguin trainer before that.

DISCUSSION

molly-opoverty
Molly O'Poverty

Ads for streaming services do not make sense. You’re subscribing already to their service and the content is monetized that way. Moreover, older content - say The Golden Girls or Smallville - has already been monetized when it was on traditional linear ad-supported broadcast tv. Those producing studios recouped their costs with Upfront ad buys (commercials) and then home video sales. This content is bought and paid for already. There was little to no cost to make the video file flavors needed by a streaming service; networks had already digitized their legacy content. The only true hard cost is server hosting.

I absolutely REFUSE to watch ads for content that has already been through the pipeline.

An example of an egregious, heavy-handed ad load overreach by Hulu: I went to watch a movie trailer when my Hulu account was turned back (on in ad-supported mode), and was forced to watch 2 commercials for a TRAILER. Fuck you! I’m not watching commercials to watch a trailer. They should have better judgement in place.