HBO Max subscribers starting next month can cut down their monthly streaming bill. They'll just have to be fine with sitting through ads.
WarnerMedia announced Wednesday a new ad-supported HBO Max subscription tier will launch in June and cost $9.99 a month, down from the current price of $14.99 for the ad-free version. HBO Max with Ads will be arriving about a year after the streaming service, which includes not only HBO shows but also other films and TV series including Friends, first debuted.
For comparison, the versions of Hulu and Paramount+ that come with ads cost $5.99 a month, while Disney+ costs $7.99 and the basic Netflix plan is $8.99 a month; no version of Disney+ or Netflix includes ads. NBCUniversal's Peacock also has an ad-supported tier with limited content that's free and another ad-supported tier with more content that costs $4.99 a month.
WarnerMedia said this ad-supported tier will include the "full HBO Max content catalog," with one notable exception: the same-day premieres of upcoming 2021 Warner Bros. films won't be included, meaning subscribers who sign up for the $10 plan can't watch movies like In the Heights, The Suicide Squad, and Dune when they first debut on streaming simultaneous with a theatrical release.
According to CNN, though, HBO shows will still be presented without ads on the new subscription tier, "at least for now." HBO Max with Ads is set to launch in the first week of June — but not in time for next week's highly-anticipated Friends reunion special.