HBO Max has made an impressive splash in the extremely competitive streaming video market. But at $15 a month, it’s among the most expensive choices that don’t include extras like live broadcast TV. Today parent company AT&T announced that as of June, it’s going to start offering an ad-supported (and presumably less expensive) version of HBO Max.
AT&T is following in the footsteps of Hulu, which offers a discounted tier with commercials. We don’t know how much money a few commercials with your shows and movies might save you, but given the premium nature of the platform, it’s unlikely to have a free choice, like Peacock or Crackle. Completely free access to all that content, including same day Warner Bros. movie releases for 2021, is probably too much to hope for.
In the same press release, AT&T said it’s expecting to launch HBO Max in 60 international markets this year: 39 territories in Latin America and 21 in Europe. That’s good news if you’re a fan of WB movies and HBO TV shows. But keep in mind, the byzantine nature of international TV and movie licensing agreements means that the library on offer outside of the US will certainly vary a great deal from place to place.