If you’ve been thinking about pulling the trigger on an HBO Max subscription but can’t stomach the thought of adding another $15 to your monthly expenses, the service’s upcoming ad-supported tier might be just what the doctor ordered. Reportedly arriving in June, it should cost just $9.99 a month.
Of course, there will be other limitations here aside from just the addition of ads. For starters, immediate access to Warner Brothers movies will be limited to the premium tier. That’s a big loss for the more affordable version, though the playing field will be a bit more level next year as it has already been announced that same-day movie releases will halt at the end of 2021.
HBO has also made it clear that its original content, like Game of Thrones, won’t get ads, so even subscribers of the more affordable level can continue to watch the shows as they were originally intended. Interestingly, the original report notes that WarnerMedia considered selling a version of the service with just HBO Max content for just $4.99 a month, but that idea was killed for the combined HBO + HBO Max product. Makes sense, really—these services are already convoluted enough.
Otherwise, the two services appear to be basically the same. Just, you know, one has ads and costs less, while the other has ads and costs more. If release-day Warner Bros movies are a big deal to you, perhaps you should consider subscribing to the premium tier now, then dropping back to the ad-supported tier at the end of 2021. Seems like a fair tradeoff to me.