HBO Max is officially fighting Netflix and Disney+ with... ads
With Netflix unlikely to be challenged at the top of the global video streaming subscriber chart anytime soon and Disney+ still growing at a very impressive pace roughly 18 months after its commercial debut, it's safe to say that the industry's smaller and especially newer players need to come up with innovative ways to compete.
Launched nearly a year ago to the day, HBO Max is anything but small, with AT&T's financial power behind it and original content produced by Warner Bros. securing the platform quite a bit of time in the limelight over the last few months.
While the initial results were fairly promising, with the direct Netflix rival undoubtedly playing a crucial part in getting the total subscriber numbers of all the various HBO-branded services worldwide to around 64 million by the end of Q1 2021, there's obviously still plenty of room for improvement.
WarnerMedia is today officially introducing an ad-supported HBO Max tier... that's somehow costlier than a monthly Disney+ subscription. As rumored almost a month back, this "affordable" new streaming option is priced at $9.99 in the US, debuting the first week of June to offer consumers more choice.To help with that,
Although that's obviously a noble goal, 10 bucks a month sounds pretty steep for a "premium user experience" interrupted by commercials, especially without those highly anticipated Warner Bros. Same-Day Premieres.
That's right, unlike folks paying $14.99 a month, HBO Max subscribers looking to save a buck (or five) will not have (legal) access to the new Space Jam movie, James Gunn's "The Suicide Squad", Denis Villeneuve's "Dune", or "Matrix 4" on the same day that said blockbusters are set to open in theaters.
There's no other difference in content between the two service tiers (or so HBO claims for the time being), and for what it's worth, the company is vowing to keep the aforementioned interruptions to a minimum with the "lightest ad load in the streaming industry."
Of course, the $8.99 and up Netflix and $7.99 Disney+ "loads" will remain unrivaled, being nonexistent and with no word on materializing anytime soon.