HBO Max announces ad-supported subscriptions

HBO Max with Ads
(Ad-supported subscriptions lower cost)

HBO Max announced at today’s 2021 WarnerMedia Upfront that it will debut its ad-supported subscription tier 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. They have dubbed it HBO Max with Ads.

HBO Max previewed new ad experiences coming to the platform later this year and shared its immediate commitment to having the lightest ad load in the streaming industry, coupled with the most premium content.

In addition to advertising-specific news, the brand debuted highly anticipated new and original series including And Just Like That…, teased special events like Friends: The Reunion, a real-life unscripted celebration of the beloved show, and previewed forthcoming seasons of Legendary, The Flight Attendant and Search Party, among others at the upfront.

Both HBO Max tiers offer access to an exciting lineup of new original programming, as well as its robust catalog of content from iconic entertainment brands including HBO, Warner Bros., DC, Turner Classic Movies, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, and more.

Subscribers to the ad supported tier of HBO Max will have access to the full HBO Max content catalog, excluding Warner Bros. Same-Day Premiere films debuting in theaters and on HBO Max throughout 2021.

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“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,” said Tony GoncalvesEVP and Chief Revenue Officer for WarnerMedia.

Subscribers to both HBO Max tiers will enjoy HBO Max’s premium user experience, which weaves together human-powered discovery, personalization and customization, a sophisticated video player, parental controls and a unique kids experience to offer customers a service that gives them more of what they love.

HBO Max with Ads will bring brands closer to captivating content experiences that engage their most valuable audiences in an environment purpose-built for discovery and designed to eliminate disruption. At a time when brands are looking to create the most impact, HBO Max with Ads will offer an elegant and creative canvas for brands and advertisers to connect with consumers  – with the accountability they need to drive outcomes that matter most to their business.

WarnerMedia builds on its rich history of innovation to improve commercial ad loads in the linear TV space as one of the first to market with limited commercial interruptions across TBS, TNT and TruTV.

Now, with HBO Max’s ad supported tier, that foundation and spirit of putting the viewer at the center, transcends to streaming.

“HBO Max with Ads provides a superior marketing environment, featuring the lightest ad load in the streaming industry, driving engagement with consumers and efficacy for our partners,” said JP Colaco, Head of Advertising Sales for WarnerMedia. “Couple that with beloved premium content spanning all genres and audience segments, and we are delivering the best ad offering available in market today.”

HBO Max with Ads is launching with most major agency holding companies and a wide array of brands across all verticals and categories, powering ongoing innovation through test and learn with marketplace partners.

At launch and over the next several months, advertisers will have access to key formats and adjacencies, allowing them to align their message to make meaningful impact alongside a slate of iconic brands, talent and storytellers, including formats and offerings like:

  • Brand Block (Available now): Where brands own a block of content and consumers delight in a limited commercial experience.
  • Pause Ads (Coming soon): Create a new space to connect with meaningful engagement opportunities when a consumer takes a break.
  • Branded Discovery (Coming soon): Surround the content discovery process as consumers explore HBO Max recommended programming

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.