HBO Max is offering viewers a new cheaper membership tier for subscribers willing to accept a few compromises.
HBO Max currently has over 64 million subscribers but wants to reach bigger audiences. However, Netflix offers cheaper standard subscription pricing, and so does Disney Plus.
To reach a wider audience, WarnerMedia is launching a new ad-supported tier priced at just $9,99 USD per month – a 33% cheaper deal than the standard membership of $14,99 USD per month.
While the launch was teased last month, the feature is coming in June and will be available to subscribers in the US.
As part of its ad-supported tier, HBO promises the “lightest ad load” in the industry, but it’ll also include new ad formats like “pause ads,” which display ads while shows are paused. Furthermore, the space given to ads should be reduced to a minimum in order to make the price possible – serving only four minutes of ads per every hour watched.
Ads won’t be the only compromise subscribers will have to make. The discount also comes with additional service limitations. Compared to the standard membership, the ad-supported subscription will not let streamers watch some of the latest releases and most anticipated series.
Warner Bros.’ 2021 movies such as Space Jam 2 and the forthcoming Matrix sequel, for example, will not be made available on theater release days as offered on standard subscription, nor will streamers be able to take their favorite entertainment on flights with them since offline downloads will not be available for them.
And last but not least, the quality of the video resolution is limited to a standard 1080P HD instead of 4K Ultra HD. This is also something many new potential subscribers will probably have to consider before deciding to go for the bargain. On the upside, all HBO programming will be ad-free.
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