Warner Media has finally confirmed that the cheaper tier of HBO Max is indeed coming, and it's sooner than you think - it will be available in the US in the 'first week of June.'
As our guide to the latest HBO Max prices details, the blockbuster-packed streaming service is usually $14.99 a month, making it one of the pricier streaming options out there. However, opt for the new ad-supported tier and those prices drop to $9.99 a month (that's still two bucks a month more than the Disney Plus prices, though).
If any of you use the cheaper ad-supported version of Hulu, you might be dreading how many ads you'll be facing on this cheaper tier - I think we've all had quite enough of Good RX and Carvana ads, thank you very much. But it sounds like HBO Max is going to try and make it a less obtrusive experience, with a statement from Warner Media committing to "having the lightest ad load in the streaming industry."
What will ads on HBO Max look like?
We don't yet know what form the ads will take. Will they simply bookend an episode or movie, or will there be interruptions during? Warner confirms there will some 'Pause Ads' that show when you pause, but hopefully, these will be silent, static ones.
The press release did not mention ads not being shown on HBO's own content (Game of Thrones, The Flight Attendant, etc), which was something we'd heard might be happening with the ad-supported tier a while back. Either way though, we'll be testing out the new option as soon as it's live to let you know how it compares to the full-priced version.
One important omission that was confirmed for the cheaper tier is that you will not get the day-and-date movies released on HBO Max and at the cinema on the same day (so Suicide Squad, the new Dune remake, The Matrix 4, and more would all be off the table). These movies only stick around for a month on HBO Max and then usually come back months later once they're done and dusted at theaters, so we'd assume you'll be able to see them on the ad-supported tier when they do.
HBO Max does run on a 30-day rolling contract, so we imagine you'll be able to upgrade and downgrade at will if you want to bump it up once in a while to catch any of those films.
Given there's no longer an HBO Max free trial (unless you add it as a bolt-on to your Hulu bundle, that is), this could be a great way to try one of the best streaming services for less, even if you are only saving five bucks. If those ads turn out to be as user-friendly as Warner hopes though, then the ad-supported HBO Max tier would save you $60 a year.
If you're looking for some other streaming options, be sure to check out the latest Disney Plus bundles, Paramount Plus prices, and Peacock TV costs. If you're after come sporting options instead then we've rounded up the latest ESPN Plus costs and Fubo TV costs and packages.