HBO Max's Cheaper Ad-Supported Tier Will Reportedly Cost $10 A Month

Last month, WarnerMedia announced a cheaper, ad-supported subscription tier of HBO Max set to launch in June. But a price for this cheaper HBO Max ad plan had not yet been announced – at the very least, it will be less costly than the current ad-free $14.99 monthly subscription. But a new report has the price for this ad-supported tier for HBO Max, and yes, it's cheaper.

CNBC reports that HBO's parent company, WarnerMedia, plans to charge $9.99 per month for its ad-supported HBO Max plan. That's $5 less than the current ad-free version of HBO Max, or what customers would have to pay to bundle it into a YouTube TV or cable subscription.

According to CNBC, HBO executives had considered pushing through a fully ad-supported HBO Max plan for $5 a month, but "nixed that idea" after private discussions stalled.

WarnerMedia said that it only plans to attach ads to titles that are exclusively available on HBO Max. It's unclear if this will extend beyond HBO Max Originals, like the Cartoon Network collection. HBO shows such as EuphoriaSuccession, and Game of Thrones, will remain ad-free. Subscribers to the ad-supported tier will still have access to the Warner Bros. same-day theatrical releases of films like Space Jam: A New Legacy and In the Heights.

HBO Max's high price has been the biggest obstacle for the WarnerMedia subscription service since it launched in May 2020. At $14.99 a month, HBO Max is the most costly of the new streaming services — Disney+ is only $7.99 a month, Apple TV+ is a steal at $4.99 a month, and Peacock is keeping costs low at a $4.99 a month as well. This, even as HBO Max easily has one of the best and most varied libraries of any other streaming platform out there.

WarnerMedia has been aggressively pushing to increase their subscriber numbers, with the divisive HBO Max day-and-date debut of Warner Bros. films, and high-profile Originals. This ad-supported tier is the latest push for subscriber growth, in addition to an upcoming rollout in 60 markets outside of the United States throughout this year.

But projections for subscriber growth are doing well: by the end of this year, HBO Max expects to have between 67 million and 70 million subscribers worldwide. Further down the road, they expect to have between 120 and 125 million subscribers by the end of 2025.

WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar previously said of the ad-supported tier, "It turns out that most people on this planet are not wealthy. If we can wake up and use price and be able to invent and do things elegantly through advertising to reduce the price of a service, I think that's a fantastic thing for fans."