HBO Max, the US streaming service, has launched its new advertising-supported subscription tier. HBO Max now provides consumers the option to choose between the existing ad-free subscription option at $14.99 (€12.27) per month, or one with ads for $9.99 per month.
HBO Max is also offering new and returning subscribers the option to pre-pay and save more than 15 per cent by signing up for the ad-supported tier of HBO Max for $99.99/year or without ads for $149.99/year.
“Advertising is a time-tested way to reduce the cost of great entertainment and reach a wider audience,” said EVP & General Manager, HBO Max, Andy Forssell. “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.”
Both HBO Max subscription tiers offer access to the streaming platform’s lineup of new original programming, as well its deep catalogue of content from iconic entertainment brands including HBO, Warner Bros, DC, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network and more.
Subscribers to both tiers will also have access to HBO Max’s premium user experience, which weaves together human-powered discovery, personalisation and customisation, a sophisticated video player, parental controls and a unique kids experience to offer users a service that just gets them.
The ad-supported tier will not include the ability to download content for offline viewing, and streaming video quality will be capped at 1080p. Warner Bros same-day premiere films debuting in theatres and on HBO Max throughout 2021 are not included in the HBO Max ad-supported tier, but will become available on both tier options when the films debut via the HBO service in the months following their theatrical releases as part of HBO’s output deal with Warner Bros.
At a maximum of four minutes of commercial time per hour, HBO Max’s ad-supported subscription tier launches with a commitment to the lowest commercial ad load in the streaming industry, minimising disruption to viewing while maintaining a premium user experience for the entire family. Additionally, ads will not play during HBO programming. Over time, subscribers can expect to see greater personalisation in the ads they do see with more innovation in formats to come. Ads on HBO Max are designed to complement and enhance the overall viewing experience and will be thoughtfully surfaced across HBO Max’s content catalogue in a way that maintains the integrity of the programming.
More than 35 brands across all major categories are slated to go live on HBO Max in June 2021, including two Brand Block partners in auto and insurance, with 72 creatives currently housed for campaigns. By deploying industry-leading frequency caps, advertisers are encouraged to lean into greater variation of creative and formats to enhance the consumer experience.
“Today we launch an innovative, best in class streaming ad experience,” declared JP Colaco, head of advertising sales, WarnerMedia. “Thank you to the incredible brands who leaned forward on the importance of a consumer-centric ad experience that engages fans. Together with our valued partners we will continue to explore the art of what’s possible in video advertising across all platforms.”
HBO Max says it makes discovering content seamless, providing an experience tailored to each individual user and serving up content that resonates most through the combination of bespoke editorial curations and custom recommendations based on a user’s viewing history.
HBO Max launches in Latin America later this month.