HBO Max increases monthly subscription cost in the US
HBO Max announced its first price hike since its launch two years ago. Warner Bros. Discovery is raising the monthly subscription cost in the US by $1. The company is planning to invest more in its content.
The streaming platform debuted in May 2020, starting at the price of $14.99 monthly. Back then, it was still under AT&T-owned WarnerMedia. In June 2021, the price of the HBO Max Plan with ads started at $9.99 monthly. A Warner Bros. representative confirmed it wouldn’t change.
Starting today, HBO Max will now cost $16/month for the ad-free plan, an increase of $1 per month from the previous $15/month cost. This is HBO Max's first monthly price hike since the service launched in May 2020. pic.twitter.com/WCK6nUSsqq
— GameSpot (@GameSpot) January 12, 2023
On Thursday, HBO’s website displayed the new price rates. Here is the updated pricelist:
- Ad-free plan: $15.99/month price (or $149.99/year)
- Ad-supported plan: $9.99/month (or $99.99/year)
The HBO Max no-ads subscription in the US will increase by $1 plus taxes. It is almost a 7% increase. Existing subscribers will see the monthly increase effective on their next billing on or after Feb.11, 2023.
Warner Bros. said, “This price increase of one dollar will allow us to continue to invest in providing even more culture-defining programming and improving our customer experience for all users.”
HBO Max is officially increasing its monthly fee to $16 in the U.S., so here's how all the major streaming services (standard plans with no ads) compare! Which is the best deal? https://t.co/aKJN0c8osH pic.twitter.com/BCGcw0qFLg
— IGN (@IGN) January 13, 2023
The company executives cited that there’s always a possibility of price increases regarding streaming services. Warner Bros. also aims to make its streaming platform more profitable.
Warner Bros. CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels said, “There’s no doubt that these products are priced way too low. And I think this was partly the capital market-fueled phase of land grabbing. You couldn’t lose enough money and couldn’t grow subscribers fast enough. I think that’s behind us.”
HBO Max price hike comes after the company’s content reduction to lower expenses. Some are the deleted original series, film titles, and old “Sesame Street” episodes. The streaming service also canceled “The Nevers,” “Minx,” and others.
Announced today, the price of a new HBO Max ad-free monthly subscription in the U.S. will increase from $14.99 to $15.99 plus applicable taxes pic.twitter.com/53FE4J0jxV
— Geek Vibes Nation (@GeekVibesNation) January 12, 2023
HBO Max merger
In addition, the company also announced last month that it plans to delete some shows to give way to licensing them to ad-supported streaming TV and third-party free partners. President and CEO of global streaming and games JB Perette told investors in November that the company had the “opportunity” to raise the prices of an ad-free tier.
Furthermore, the media giant is looking into its merger with Discovery+. the HBO Max-Discovery+ platform will debut in the US in the spring of this year. Although there are no price announcements, “Max” is the top contender. However, due to this merger, the company could possibly incur development write-off expenses and content impairment worth nearly $3.5 billion.
In addition, the company also plans to boost customer experience while revamping the whole app. Wiedenfels said, “We’re going to come out with a great product from a consumer experience perspective, and that’s frankly the biggest holdback for HBO Max right now. The experience is not where it needs to be,”