HBO Max with Ads, the previously announced, cheaper, ad-supported version of WarnerMedia’s streaming service, will cost $9.99 a month, the company announced during its upfront presentation on Wednesday. The new option will launch in the United States in the first week of June.
WarnerMedia aims for HBO Max with Ads to have the “lightest ad load in the streaming industry,” the company said in a statement about the new subscription tier. At launch, brands will be able to sponsor content blocks, putting their own ads in front of and during certain shows. Later on, after the service’s launch, WarnerMedia will introduce pause ads, which appear when users pause their show, and “branded discovery,” which lets companies advertise in the menus while users look for a new show.
In exchange for the addition of ads to the service, users will only have to pay $9.99 a month for a subscription, instead of HBO Max’s regular price of $14.99 a month.
While most of the content available to subscribers will be the same no matter which subscription tier they’re on, WarnerMedia confirmed — again — that HBO Max with Ads subscribers will not get access to the day-and-date movie premieres that other subscribers will enjoy throughout 2021. However, WarnerMedia’s same-day premieres will end after 2021, when its films will go back to premiering exclusively in theaters.
Along with the pricing and release window for HBO Max with Ads, WarnerMedia also gave a brief preview of some of the upcoming content for the streaming service during its 2021 upfront presentation. One of its biggest upcoming highlights, Friends: The Reunion, got an emotional trailer that shows the cast reuniting. Another highlight was a few new details about the Sex and the City revival, which will be called And Just Like That... and add Sara Ramírez to the previously announced cast of Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, and Kristin Davis.