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HBO Max’s Monthly Fee May Be Too Pricey for Most Streaming Customers

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HBO Max is unlike its rival streamers in one important aspect: It’s more expensive.

The streamer debuts May 27 at $15/month, which is double what Disney+ ($7) charges and triple what Apple TV+ ($5) costs.

To help lure customers, the video service has a special promotion: $12/month for the first year. AT&T is hoping the reduced fee will aid its market expansion.

What does that mean for its distribution numbers? According to Bloomberg, which conducted a survey, it means HBO Max won’t be a priority for users. Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video were deemed more essential.

Conversely, HBO Max was put in the CBS All Access category. That’s a not exactly the status or reach parent AT&T is hoping for in the future.

Most U.S. consumers pay less than HBO Max’s planned $15/month; Netflix’s popular tier rate is $13. Given the rise in streaming due to COVID-19, Netflix added nearly 16 million subscribers last quarter. But that same factor, which is decimating the economy, may discourage consumers from ordering new services.

However, HBO Max does have some built-in pluses.

Most HBO on Hulu existing subscribers will get HBO Max free. HBO Now subscribers billed through Google Play will get an automatic free upgrade to the HBO Max app. So will certain AT&T customers, if they subscribe to specific tiers.

Rival mobile streamer Quibi initially offered a free 90-day trial to new customers.