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Could HBO Max Undercut Netflix Pricing With Ads?

Stephanie Sengwe

With many streaming services coming out in the following months, they are all looking for ways to differentiate themselves from the rest through content aggregation and pricing. HBO Max, who’s actual price hasn’t officially been reported, has spurred quite a lot of speculation.

Reports came out in September, stating that HBO Max will probably be priced at $14.99, the same price as HBO and HBO Now. It was also reported that the service, which was believed to have multiple pricing tiers had settled for the $16-17 single tier due to the unexpectedly low-price of Disney+.

Now, however, analysts believe competition is forcing WarnerMedia to go back to the drawing board and reconsider HBO Max pricing. UBS analyst John Hodulik, who believed the new service will be priced similarly to HBO now believes in order for HBO Max to gain any market share, they will lower the price to around $12 per month or $8 with advertising.

These new prices would put HBO Max neck to neck with Netflix and possibly leaving it to be highest priced streaming service. The streamer increased their pricing earlier this year, with their basic plan going from 7.99 to $8.99, their standard tier going from $10.99 to $12.99 per month and the premium plan, increasing from $13.99 to $15.99 per month.

HBO Max is set to launch in spring 2020 and will be the exclusive streaming home for all episodes of Friends, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as well as Pretty Little Liars. Those will join The CW originals starting with Batwoman and Riverdale spinoff Katy Keene. The CW’s streaming deal with Netflix expired in May. Current CW series already streaming on Netflix (like Riverdale and The Flash) will continue to do so until they wrap their runs.

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