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Max rolls out price increase on ad-free tiers of service

The cost of Max without ads climbs to $17 per month, while the premium version of Max is now priced at $21 per month.

The cost of Max without ads climbs to $17 per month, while the premium version of Max is now priced at $21 per month.

John Oliver of "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver," a television program on HBO.
(Still frame courtesy Partially Important Productions, LLC and Warner Bros Discovery, Graphic by The Desk)

Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) has raised the price of its Max streaming service by $1 per month, with streamers now expected to shell out between $17 and $21 per month for its catalog of hit shows, documentaries, original series and licensed movies.

The price adjustment comes one month after Bloomberg reported WBD was considering a cost increase for Max as well as layoffs across some of its business units. At the time, Bloomberg didn’t say how much Max would cost once the price adjustments were put in place.

The cost increases will affect new and existing subscribers alike. Annual subscribers will also see the price of their service go up, with ad-free Max costing $170 per year. The price of premium Max, which offers access to Dolby Vision, 4K video streaming and increases the number of simultaneous streams and offline downloads, goes up to $210 per year.

Max debuted in April 2023, replacing WBD’s former cornerstone streaming service HBO Max. It offers content from HBO’s television and film library, along with shows and movies from other WBD properties, including Warner Bros Pictures, Cartoon Network, Turner Classic Movies, DC Comics, CNN and Adult Swim.

Three months before its debut, WBD implemented a rare price increase on HBO Max, pushing the service to $16 per month. Prior to the increase, HBO Max and its predecessors, including HBO Go, had held firm at $15 per month for several years.

The latest price adjustment comes at a time when WBD is increasingly focused on reducing costs and maximizing potential revenue opportunities. During the first three months of the year, WBD earned $9.958 billion from its various business units, down 7 percent on a year-over basis. Revenue earned from streaming — which includes Max, HBO in some areas and Discovery Plus — clocked in at $2.46 billion, or around $5 million more when compared to the prior year, which WBD characterized as a “modest increase.”

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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