WarnerMedia seems to be getting nostalgic about the good old pre-internet era watching experience as it brings a new ad-supported plan for HBO Max that would cost subscribers $9.99 per month.
Less than a year after HBO Max’s launch and during a time when an ad-supported plan usually indicates a free-of-cost viewing experience for the users — sans exclusive content in most cases — WarnerMedia is looking to get the best out of both worlds.
WarnerMedia announced on Wednesday that the new HBO Max plan, which is available in US and selected US territories, will have the “lightest ad load in the streaming industry”.
HBO Max’s ad-free subscription tier is also scheduled to launch in 39 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean in late June. HBO-branded streaming services in Europe (Spain, Portugal, Nordic, Central) will be upgraded to HBO Max later this year.
The new subscription tier adds to the existing ad-free $14.99 per month plan. Both the subscription tiers will have access to the entire catalogue of HBO Max, including original programming and content from HBO, Warner Bros, DC, Turner Classic Movies, Adult Swim and Cartoon Network, among others. However, the ad-supported tier won’t premiere Warner Bros movies debuting in theatres and HBO Max in 2021.
HBO Max will run ads in three main formats: Brand Block, Pause Ads and Branded Discovery. As the name suggests, pause ads may be displayed when viewers take a break. Branded discovery would work much like Youtube’s ads in recommendations and searches. Brand blocks will allow advertisers to buy a chunk of the content space, translating into ads between programming or integrated ads.
“HBO Max with Ads will bring our beloved entertainment brands and franchises to even more consumers at this new, lower price point-while, for the first time, elegantly connecting brands to the premium, iconic IP that defines this service,” said Tony Goncalves, EVP and Chief Revenue Officer for WarnerMedia.
The company also teased Friends Reunion, an unscripted celebration of the show, and previewed upcoming seasons of Legendary, The Flight Attendant and Search Party.
“With premium content spanning all genres and audience segments, we are delivering the best ad offering available in the market today,” said JP Colaco, Head of Advertising Sales for WarnerMedia