New HBO Max Ad-Supported Tier Bows Today

HBO Max June 2 launched a new advertising-supported subscription tier. Max now provides consumers the option between the existing ad-free subscription option at $14.99 per month, or one with ads for $9.99 per month.

Max is offering new and returning subscribers the ability to pre-pay and save 15% by signing up for the ad-supported tier for $99.99 per year, or without ads for $149.99 per year.

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“Advertising is a time-tested way to reduce the cost of great entertainment and reach a wider audience,” Andy Forssell, EVP and GM of HBO Max, said in a statement. “We’ve worked hard to create an elegant, tasteful ad experience that is respectful of great storytelling for those users who choose it, and which we’re confident will deliver for our advertising partners as well.”

Both Max subscription tiers offer access to the streaming platform’s lineup of new original programming, as well its deep catalog of content from brands, including HBO, Warner Bros., DC, Turner Classic Movies and Cartoon Network, among others. Subscribers to both tiers will also have access to Max’s premium user experience, which weaves together discovery, personalization and customization, a video player, parental controls and a kids experience.

The ad-supported tier does not include the ability to download content for offline viewing, and streaming video quality will be capped at 1080p. Warner Bros. same-day premiere films debuting in theaters and on Max throughout 2021 are not included in the ad-supported tier, but will become available on both tiers when the films debut in the months following their theatrical releases as part of HBO’s output deal with Warner Bros.

At a maximum of four minutes of commercial time per hour, Max’s ad-supported subscription tier promises the lowest commercial ad load in the streaming industry. Additionally, ads will not play during HBO programming. Over time, subscribers can expect to see greater personalization in the ads they do see with more innovation in formats to come. Ads on Max are designed to complement and enhance the overall viewing experience and will be thoughtfully surfaced across Max’s content catalog in a way that maintains the integrity of the programming.

More than 35 brands across all major categories are slated to go live on Max, including two partners in auto and insurance, with 72 creatives currently housed for campaigns. By deploying frequency caps, advertisers are encouraged to lean into greater variation of creative and formats to enhance the consumer experience.

“Thank you to the incredible brands who leaned forward on the importance of a consumer-centric ad experience that engages fans,” said JP Colaco, head of advertising sales for WarnerMedia. “Together with our valued partners we will continue to explore the art of what’s possible in video advertising across all platforms.”


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