The new service, set to launch in June, will be $5 cheaper than the standard HBO Max tier ($14.99 per month), giving Warner Media a platform that can compete more readily with competitors like Disney Plus ($7.99 per month) and Netflix ($8.99 per month).
To enjoy the lower price, subscribers will have to put up with adverts, but only for content that’s not exclusively available on HBO Max or as an HBO original.
Another major difference between HBO's two tiers will be same-day access to WarnerMedia’s theatrical releases. Only subscribers to HBO’s standard tier will be able to enjoy streaming WarnerBros films like In The Heights and Space Jam: A New Legacy on the day they launch in cinemas. That benefit, however, is set to end in 2022 as the studio plans to return to sole theatrical releases of new films, but with a shortened gap before digital release.
HBO hopes that the addition of an ad-supported tier will help build awareness of the streaming service, which launched in the US in May, in an increasingly crowded marketplace. With plans to expand into Europe and Latin America later this year, parent company AT&T has raised subscriber targets, projecting to end 2021 with 67-70 million subscribers worldwide, growing to 120 -125 million subscribers by the end of 2025.
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