HBO Max will launch an ad-supported tier in June for $9.99 per month, offering a more cost-effective option than the full $14.99-per-month ad-free subscription.“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.”
The news was announced during a WarnerMedia presentation for advertisers, though their released was rumored in recent months. The streaming service, which has 64 million subscribers, has been planning an ad-supported tier as a way to reach a wider audience. Along with the price change, the service promises the “lightest ad load” in the industry, but it’ll include new ad formats such as “pause ads” that display ads while shows are paused.
Ad-supported subscribers will get access to “the full HBO Max content catalog,” but not Warner movies as they are premiering in movie theaters. The new ad-supported tier will launch with ad experiences that feel different from ads consumers see on traditional TV. Most traditional TV ads are targeted by age and gender, and purchased based on shows during different time slots, which means they aren't customized.
The service is 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 in the Nordics, Spain, Central Europe, and Portugal, are scheduled to be upgraded to HBO Max later this year. 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. Some of the features that will be implemented include brand blocks, pause ads, and branded discvoery where recommended programming can be offered.
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. Couple that with beloved premium content spanning all genres and audience segments, and we are delivering the best ad offering available in market today.” JP Colaco Head of Advertising Sales, WarnerMedia