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AT&T Says HBO Max Ad-Supported Tier Coming in June, Expects 120-150 Million Subscribers by 2025

Jeff Kotuby

After a strong first 10 months, AT&T has amplified its goals for HBO Max’s bright future.

AT&T made the bold prediction for WarnerMedia’s streaming service in a financial outlook document prior to its 2021 Investor Day, raising the target from the company’s initial 75-90 million goal from back in October 2019 to 120-150 million. The company also has high hopes for its international expansion as well as its new ad-supported tier, which they’ve confirmed will be coming this June.

Internally, the company is thrilled about the AVOD option. During the Morgan Stanley TMT Conference, WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar was highly optimistic about HBO Max’s potential ad-supported option. “I do believe we’re going to see uptake in people choosing the ad-supported option of HBO Max,” Kilar said. “And that of course is going to create lots of inventory for our advertising team to be able to sell to marketers.”

The ad-supported tier will no doubt add an intriguing option for those who balk at HBO Max’s $14.99-per-month price point. The company has yet to share pricing on their new ad-supported tier.

This could be why the company is so bullish on HBO Max’s future.

Earlier this year, HBO Max sent a survey which hinted at what might be included in the “Ads” plan. It said it would feature ads in select content, including Max originals. Ads would be between two to four minutes per hour of viewing, less than competitors such as Hulu.

However, the survey indicated there wouldn’t be ads in any HBO original content, that includes all movies, series, documentaries, etc. There also won’t be any ads in roughly 50 percent of the movies on the platform, including the most recent/popular titles.

While HBO Max started slow, it’s really caught on in recent months, powered by its ability to debut feature-length films to the platform, the same day as theaters. Movies such as “Wonder Woman: 1984” and the upcoming “Godzilla vs. Kong” have helped the platform gain subscribers and its vast content library has the chance to keep those new subs interested for good. The recent “South Park” quarantine special also has subscribers interested in the platform.

You can subscribe to HBO Max for $14.99 a month either directly from HBO, or through partners like Hulu, YouTube TV, Apple TV Channels, Google Play, Samsung, or select cable companies. You can stream HBO Max on devices like Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Chromecast, Android TV, Xbox One/Series S, PS4/5, iPhone, iPad, Android, Samsung Smart TV (via AirPlay), LG Smart TV (2019+ via AirPlay 2), VIZIO Smart TV (2016+ via Cast or AirPlay 2).

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