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Advertising-Supported Version of HBO Max Launched at $9.99 a Month

Love and Death on HBO Max
(Image credit: HBO Max)

AT&T launched the advertising-supported version of HBO Max on Wednesday, charging $9.99 a month, compared to the ad free version which costs $14.99 a month.

HBO has historically been commercial-free -- part of the reason for its long term slogan “It’s not TV. It’s HBO.” AT&T said the new ad-supported HBO Max will have a maximum of four minutes of commercial time per hour. No ads will air during HBO shows, only during other programming from other WarnerMedia units appearing on the service.

HBO Max with ads is also available for $99.99 a year and the ad-free version can be bought for $149.99 a year, a 15% discount.

The cheaper version of HBO Max includes original programming, but not first-run films at the same time they’re available in theaters. The ad-supported version also does not support downloading show for offline viewing and the quality of streaming video is capped at 1080p.

More than 35 brands have agreed to advertising on HBO Max in June, the company said. 

“Today we launch an innovative, best in class streaming ad experience,” said JP Colaco, head of advertising sales for WarnerMedia. “Thank you to the incredible brands who leaned forward on the importance of a consumer-centric ad experience that engages fans. Together with our valued partners we will continue to explore the art of what’s possible in video advertising across all platforms.”    

The company said frequency-capping technology will prevent viewers from seeing the same ads over and over. 

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.