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HBO Max getting ad-supported option that won’t include theatrical releases

Cheaper tier will be released in June, no word yet on price

Godzilla fights Kong on an aircraft carrier Image: Legendary Entertainment
Austen Goslin (he/him) is an entertainment editor. He writes about the latest TV shows and movies, and particularly loves all things horror.

HBO Max will soon get a cheaper ad-supported subscription, WarnerMedia announced Friday at AT&T’s analyst and investor day. The new tier is set to be released sometime in June, however WarnerMedia hasn’t announce an exact date or price.

While the new tier will feature ads for much of its programming, WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar said that HBO original programming won’t feature ad breaks — so you don’t need to worry about commercials cutting into your Game of Thrones rewatch.

One thing that won’t be included in the new ad-supported tier is WarnerMedia’s upcoming slate of theatrical releases. In 2020, WarnerMedia announced that it would release most of its major films for 2021 on HBO Max day and date with theatrical releases. However, according to Kilar, these films will not be included in the ad-supported subscription tier.

An ad-supported tier for HBO Max could help the streaming service solve its lingering price issue. HBO Max costs $14.99 a month — more than a standard Netflix or Disney Plus subscription.

While ad-supported models aren’t the norm for most streaming services they are getting more popular. Just last year, Peacock launched with three subscription tiers including a free option, which limited the content that is available to stream, as well as a paid, ad-supported model that let users watch anything on the service with ads.

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