May 19, 2021
HBO Max May 18 at the 2021 WarnerMedia Upfront announced that it will debut its ad-supported subscription tier in the first week of June, providing consumers choice between the existing ad-free version of HBO Max at $14.99 per month, or an ad-supported experience for $9.99 per month.
Subscribers to the ad-supported tier of HBO Max will have access to the full HBO Max content catalog, as well as originals, but will not have access to Warner Bros. same-day premiere films debuting in theaters and on HBO Max throughout 2021.
HBO Max previewed new ad experiences coming to the platform later this year and shared its commitment to having the lightest ad load in the streaming industry.
“HBO Max With Ads will bring our beloved entertainment brands and franchises to even more consumers at this new, lower price point-while, for the first time, elegantly connecting brands to the premium, iconic IP that defines this service,” Tony Goncalves, EVP and chief revenue officer for WarnerMedia, said in a statement.
Advertising plans include:
- “Brand Block” (available now), where brands own a block of content and consumers get a limited commercial experience;
- “Pause Ads” (coming soon), featuring ad engagement opportunities when a consumer takes a break;
- “Branded Discovery” (coming soon), during the content discovery process.
HBO Max is also scheduled to launch (without ads) in 39 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean in late June, and the HBO-branded streaming services in Europe (the Nordics, Spain, Central Europe, and Portugal) are scheduled to be upgraded to HBO Max later this year.
The WarnerMedia Upfront began with CEO Jason Kilar’s first public appearance since the surprise announcement earlier this week that AT&T is spinning the business unit off to merge into a new entity, with Discovery.
Kilar is rumored to be on his way out, since the new combined company will be run by Discovery CEO David Zaslav.
Kilar said the industry is “rapidly evolving … and we are transforming with it.”