Today, January 12, HBO has announced an immediate price increase for its streaming service, HBO Max. The price of a new HBO Max ad-free monthly subscription in the U.S. will increase from $14.99 to $15.99. Existing subscribers who are currently paying $14.99/month will see their monthly rate increase to $15.99 effective their next billing cycle on or after Saturday, February 11, 2023.
HBO MAX MORE FOR LESS?
HBO Max is certainly not the only streaming service to increase their prices. Netflix and Disney have also had recent increases. However, with its slow user growth and the recent removal of content, an increase now does seem like odd timing. Ever since the Warner Bros. and Discovery merger, things have been in a state of uncertainty for the company. Warner Discovery states the increase “will allow us to continue to invest in providing even more culture-defining programming and improving our customer experience for all users.” While they also point out this is the first time they have increased prices since its launch in May 2020.
I’m not sure that will not make current subscribers any happier though to see their costs go up. Especially in light of high-profile cancellations such as Westworld and Minx. The latter was canceled after a previous season two renewal. Both, in addition to being canceled, were outright removed from the platform alongside other series. HBO Max has removed several of their “Max Original” films as well. Even Sesame Street and Looney Tunes weren’t safe with over 200 episodes of each being removed.
Interestingly enough the ad-supported plan will remain unchanged at $9.99 per month (or $99.99 a year). This might be a move to entice customers to move to the ad-supported version and increase potential advertiser revenue as the company looks to right the ship. Time will tell if this price increase has the intended effect or could further slow growth for the platform.
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