Wednesday morning, HBO Max rolled out a new, partially ad-supported service plan. Consumers can now choose between the original ad-free plan for $15 per month or the new, ad-supported plan for $10 per month – the split is similar to Hulu (no ads) vs. Hulu (with ads), at $12 per month and $6 per month, respectively.
HBO Max customers (new or existing) can also prepay for additional savings. If you pay upfront, you get a year of service for the cost of 10 months at the monthly rate: $150 per year for ad-free or $100 per year for ad-supported.
The new ad-supported tier offers the same content as the ad-free tier, with the exception of Warner Brothers premiere movies on the same day. The ad-supported plans also do not offer a resolution higher than 1080p or the ability to download content for offline viewing.
Andy Forssell, CEO of HBO Max, says the company has “worked hard to create an elegant, tasteful advertising experience.” Objectively, the level is capped at four minutes of commercial time per hour, which the company claims is the lowest commercial ad load in the streaming industry. HBO also says no ads will be played during HBO programming.
The ads will be targeted, presumably based on each viewer’s streaming history; the company says that “subscribers can expect more personalization in the ads they see over time.” HBO also hints at more innovation in advertising formatsthough it doesn’t go into details about what that might mean.
More than 35 major brands will go live with the ad-supported plans this month, with 72 ads (individual ads) currently in rotation. Interested consumers can sign up for HBO Max directly at hbomax.com, or they can find the app through participating devices, carriers, and app stores. Brand partners can visit hbomax.com/advertising for more details.
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