HBO Max is officially launching its ad-supported tier starting today. The new subscription option, which will be rolled out throughout the day, costs $9.99 per month, while the existing ad-free tier costs $14.99 per month. Both options offer HBO Max original programming, plus content from HBO, Warner Bros., DC, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, and more.
While the newly launched tier will have much of the same content as the original, ad-free HBO Max subscription, there is one key difference: subscribers to the ad-supported tier will not have access to Warner Bros. same-day premiere films like In the Heights and the new The Conjuring movie, which debut on HBO Max and in theaters on the same day. However, the titles will become available on both ad-free and ad-supported tiers when they debut months after their theatrical releases as part of the HBO output deal with Warner Bros.
The ad-supported tier will also cap streaming video quality at 1080p and will not feature offline viewing.
“Advertising is a time-tested way to reduce the cost of great entertainment and reach a wider audience,” Andy Forssell, EVP & General Manager, HBO Max, said in a statement. “We’ve worked hard to create an elegant, tasteful ad experience that is respectful of great storytelling for those users who choose it, and which we’re confident will deliver for our advertising partners as well.”
JP Colaco, head of advertising sales, WarnerMedia, added, “Today we launch an innovative, best in class streaming ad experience. Thank you to the incredible brands who leaned forward on the importance of a consumer-centric ad experience that engages fans,” he continued. “Together with our valued partners we will continue to explore the art of what’s possible in video advertising across all platforms.”
HBO Max with ads will include no more than four minutes of commercials per hour, marking the lowest commercial ad load in the streaming industry, according to the company. Viewers watching HBO programming will not be shown ads, and HBO Max plans to personalize advertising for subscribers and offer “more innovation in formats to come.”
Along with the launch of the new subscription option, HBO Max also unveiled a new way to subscribe to the service. While they previously offered monthly subscription prices, they’re now offering a yearly subscription that saves customers 15%. Both new and returning subscribers can now choose to sign up for the yearly plan, which costs $99.99/year with ads or $149.99/year without ads.
To sign up for HBO Max with ads, head to the HBO Max website. The new subscription option is available to new and returning customers, so you can change your current subscription plan or sign up for a fresh account if you never created one with the streamer.