All signs point to HBO Max having some…issues. The streaming service from WarnerMedia had a lot of hype built into it, especially when it was revealed the fabled “Snyder Cut” of Justice League would be premiering there next year. But it hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing. HBO Max has yet to work out a deal with Roku or Amazon Fire, which is likely cutting into subscribers.
Then there’s the price: $14.99 which is pretty steep for a streaming service. It’s clear that the folks running the show are aware of this, and have just implemented a discount plan called “Save for 12,” in which new subscribers can sign up for $11.99 a month. And now we’ve learned that WarnerMedia is also considering an ad-based version of HBO Max, which will likely be cheaper – and therefore could inspire potential users to finally sign up.
According to Variety, WarnerMedia is considering an ad-supported version of its HBO Max streaming service that “could potentially carry just two to four minutes of advertising per viewing hour, a figure that would be less than the five minutes per hour that runs on NBCUniversal’s Peacock and the nine minutes per hour often utilized on Disney’s Hulu.”
Should they go ahead with this idea, commercials are unlikely to appear during HBO originals or newer movies. Instead, the ads would appear “alongside content from WarnerMedia’s other TV networks; in original series that launch on HBO Max only; and in older films, which currently include classics shown commercial-free on the company’s Turner Classic Movies cable network.” The ads are likely to be “standard video commercials” that play before, during, and after shows and movies, along with “some more innovative, interactive, and/or less disruptive types of ads,” whatever that means.
I have yet to sign up for HBO Max for two reasons. One is that it’s not on Roku, which is what I use to stream stuff. The other is that it just costs too damn much. Even this newly discounted $11.99 is too rich for my blood. I’d have to get rid of a different service I currently subscribe to to make it work financially, and there’s no current service I belong to that I want to axe at the moment.
So if HBO Max does launch an ad-supported version for an even cheaper price, I might finally pull the trigger. Don’t get me wrong – I hate ads, but I hate spending money I don’t really have even more. Of course, none of this is official yet – WarnerMedia is simply considering the idea. We’ll likely know soon if they’re going to go ahead with it.
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