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HBO Max Launches Ad-Supported Version

Now you can start streaming “Friends” for $9.99 per month + ads

HBO Max is now there for those of you who were not previously willing to pay $14.99/month for the streaming service, as the ad-supported tier that costs $9.99 per month launched Wednesday.

Currently, the WarnerMedia-owned platform is offering new and returning subscribers the option to pre-pay for a year of service and receive a 15% discount, making the ad-supported tier of HBO Max’s price tag $99.99/year and the ad-free version $149.99/year.

Now, there are a few things that the ad-supported-tier customers will miss out on, and it’s not just a commercial-free viewing experience.

Per HBO Max, “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 theaters 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.”

HBO Max says the maximum ad time a subscriber will see is “four minutes of commercial time per hour,” which WarnerMedia says shows “a commitment to the lowest commercial ad load in the streaming industry.” Ads will also not play over any HBO programming that customers watch.  

“Advertising is a time-tested way to reduce the cost of great entertainment and reach a wider audience,” executive vice president and general manager of HBO Max, Andy Forssell, said. “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.”

“Today we launch an innovative, best in class streaming ad experience,” JP Colaco, head of advertising sales at WarnerMedia, added. “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.”