HBO Max will launch an ad-supported tier in June for $9.99 per month, offering a cheaper option than the full $14.99-per-month ad-free subscription. The news was announced during a WarnerMedia presentation for advertisers today. The price and launch date were rumored last month.
The streaming service, which has 64 million subscribers, has been planning an ad-supported tier as a way to reach a wider audience. The price makes it cheaper than a standard Netflix plan, though it still costs more than Disney Plus. HBO 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 with one big exception: they won’t get access to the Warner Bros. movies that are premiering the same date on streaming as they are in theaters.
The ad-supported service will launch in the first week of June in the US. HBO Max’s ad-free service will also expand to 39 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean by the end of the month. In Europe, WarnerMedia plans to move HBO-branded streaming services to HBO Max by the end of 2021.
If you still don’t want to pay for HBO Max, WarnerMedia is planning one other way to watch some of its offerings: it’s going to air some of the streaming service’s shows on TNT and TBS starting this summer.
Correction May 19th, 3:08PM ET: This story incorrectly referred to the ad-free tier, instead of the ad-supported tier, in the third paragraph when describing what content will be missing. It also misstated where the ad-supported service will launch in June; it is the US only. The rest of the rollout is for the ad-free tier.