During the recent WarnerMedia upfront, HBO Max revealed it will be getting a cheaper, ad-based subscription tier that will become available in June. The streaming platform was first announced in October 2018 and launched in May 2020 to mixed-but-generally-positive reviews. The platform originally served as a home for movie and TV content from the namesake network but eventually began streaming all content under the WarnerMedia library.
Shortly after its launch, HBO Max expanded its roster of content to include programs from its various networks including The CW, TNT, TBS, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, and TruTV, among others. As the global pandemic hit and kept audiences inside, Warner Bros. elected to change course with its upcoming film roster by announcing a same-day theatrical and HBO Max release schedule. Though criticized by some audiences and filmmakers, the plan proved to be a success, leading to an estimated 44.2 million subscribers as of the end of April and drawing in large viewership for films including Mortal Kombat, Godzilla vs. Kong, and Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
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During the recent WarnerMedia upfronts, it was revealed that the HBO Max streaming platform would be receiving a lower-priced subscription tier for $9.99 per month. It was also announced that this cheaper model would be one with advertisements included, much like similar platforms Peacock and Paramount+. Tony Goncalves, EVP and Chief Revenue Officer for WarnerMedia, said in a statement:
“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.”
With Waner Bros. still attempting to recover its image after the same-day release plan, an ad-supported model is a respectful decision to customers overwhelmed by the number of streaming services and taking prices and features into account. As of right now, Disney+ and Paramount+ are two of the cheaper services out there at less than $10 a month, but with the latter still in desperate need of expanding its library, this shift could see HBO Max start taking a bigger jump in the streaming war. Plus, with a variety of fan-favorite TV content currently available on the service and most not going anywhere anytime soon, an ad-supported model might be more acceptable for those used to the commercial-filled world of cable television.
Not to mention, while some might be frustrated at the same-day plan, the fact that it will cease come 2022 might make the ad-free model enticing for audiences looking to watch the upcoming tentpoles from home before shifting to the cheaper tier when movies return to theaters next year. Though Disney+ and Netflix will likely reign supreme in the streaming war for some time, especially given the former’s Marvel and Star Wars libraries, any kind of boost for HBO Max will ensure newly-shifted titles such as Warrior can continue to draw in viewers. Only time and numbers will tell when the ad-based model debuts next month.
More: Why HBO Max Is A Better Home For Warrior
Source: HBO Max
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