Cheaper HBO Max ad-supported tier could challenge Netflix, Disney Plus

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Hbo Max (Image credit: HBO)

What you need to know

  • HBO Max could charge $9.99 for its upcoming ad-supported tier.
  • The company has already announced that the cheaper tier will be available this June.
  • The price could undercut other streaming services like Netflix, which doesn't have an ad-supported tier.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has driven more people to streaming services. HBO Max launched at an opportune time to take advantage of this, bringing several theatrical movie releases to the platform. While not cheap at $14.99/month, it does offer more than one simultaneous stream and supports 4K HDR on many of the best streaming devices. WarnerMedia has already announced plans to launch its cheaper, ad-supported tier this June, and now we may have an idea of how much it'll cost.

According to a report from CNBC, WarnerMedia plans to charge just $9.99 for its ad-supported tier. That would challenge rival streaming services like Disney+ and Netflix, the latter of which has a basic plan for $8.99 that only offers one stream and no HD support. Netflix does have a $13.99 plan that offers two simultaneous HD streams, although as it stands, HBO Max already supports 4K and three simultaneous streams. If the service keeps these perks in its new ad-supported tier, it could seriously undercut Netflix.

Apparently, some TV distributors aren't too happy about the cheaper tier since they apparently receive a large share of the HBO subscription charge. According to CNBC, Comcast could take as much as $9 per $15 subscription. AT&T isn't too worried about it, and CEO John Stankey seems eager to embrace more customers with this more affordable subscription:

Whether a customer chooses to buy the ad-supported product or buy the straight subscription product, it's accretive in the same ways to our business.

With June just around the corner, it's only a matter of time before WarnerMedia announces the full details of its upcoming ad-supported tier for HBO Max. Is this something any of our readers would be interested in?

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HBO Max offers plenty of content to keep you occupied while you're stuck at home, including new movie releases like Zack Snyder's Justice League. And with up to three simultaneous 4K streams, you can bring your family and friends into the mix.

Derrek Lee
News Editor

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.

  • I don't know I think I'd rather just pay that extra $4.99 to be AD free I get bombarded on every turn with ads from other apps. it's nice to just be able to sit down and watch something without interruption.
  • For me, it would depend on how the ads are run. Before after a show, movie, etc., then maybe. However, if during what I was watching then for five bucks more, I would go with the zero ads.
    However, five bucks here and there add up to a Netflix account. And I, like most others, learned a long time go, 'cutting the so-called cord" costs more and HBO and HBO MAX have never been popular with me. At most, once a year I get a one month subscription for HBO via Prime, catch up on anything I was interested in, and move on. All done during the middle of a long cold winter.
  • Original HBO shows like GOT and Westworld for example won't have ads.
  • Disney+ is still cheaper than that. And if their ads are anything like Hulu then HBO Max with ads wouldn't be a great option.
  • From what I just read any HBO Original content wont have ads, all other content will have a maximum of 4 minute of ads per hour of streaming. You also don't get access to the same day as theater movies, quality above 1080p, or the ability to download any movies/shows for offline viewing.
  • Too many streaming services to pay for now so I bought a Nvidia shield and stream it all for free.
  • God bless Plex, and the Plex server app :)