Latest in Entertainment

Image credit: HBO

HBO Max may get a cheaper, ad-supported tier in 2021

The service will be free for AT&T customers with HBO subscriptions.
98 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

HBO

HBO Max is scheduled to arrive in the spring, and some more details have emerged ahead of a formal announcement about pricing and other information on Tuesday. There may be a cheaper, ad-supported version of the service on the way in 2021, according to a Reuters report, with live programming earmarked to start after that.

If you're an AT&T customer with an HBO subscription, HBO Max will be available at no extra charge, AT&T COO John Stankey confirmed to Reuters. That pertains to about 10 million people. As you might expect, Stankey hopes to persuade HBO's 35 million US subscribers to switch to HBO Max (one would expect that'd mean eventually porting over HBO Now subscribers too).

There's a chance HBO Max could be bundled with AT&T mobile plans, which would certainly boost the service's user base. It'd align with efforts from rivals, such as T-Mobile bundling Netflix with some plans, Verizon offering Disney+ free for a year to some customers and Apple giving away a year of TV+ access with the purchase of an iPhone, iPad, Apple TV or Mac.

AT&T has high hopes for HBO Max. It aims to reach 80 million subscribers by 2025, according to the report, with 50 million of those in the US. But the cost might be a sticking point for would-be subscribers. It seems as though HBO Max will cost a bit more than an HBO plan, which is currently $15/month.

That's much more than what its nascent rivals cost. Apple TV+ ($5/month) and Disney+ ($7), both of which debut next month, are far lighter on the wallet than HBO Max's expected price tag. Netflix (from $9), Hulu ($6, or $12 on a No Ads plan) and Amazon Prime Video ($9) are all cheaper as well.

Perhaps to justify the higher fee, AT&T is positioning HBO Max as a "premium" service with the type of quality that people have come to expect from the HBO brand. HBO Max will be home to massively popular shows, such as Friends, Game of Thrones, Sesame Street and The Big Bang Theory. It'll also include the Warner Brothers archive, Studio Ghibli flicks and original shows and movies. Still, charging more than $15/month might be a little too steep for some, and it could hinder HBO Max's quest to claim streaming's iron throne.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
98 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

The 2019 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

The 2019 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

View
Alphabet's rebooted robotics program starts with trash-sorting machines

Alphabet's rebooted robotics program starts with trash-sorting machines

View
Watch Al Pacino hunt Nazis in Jordan Peele's upcoming Amazon series

Watch Al Pacino hunt Nazis in Jordan Peele's upcoming Amazon series

View
AT&T will bring real 5G to millions of customers this year

AT&T will bring real 5G to millions of customers this year

View
Tesla's electric ATV matches well with the Cybertruck

Tesla's electric ATV matches well with the Cybertruck

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr