The new Max streaming service from Warner Bros. Discovery, which replaces HBO Max, will have similar pricing to the old service, with a new premium tier, the company announced on Wednesday.
Starting May 23, the Max Ad-Lite tier will cost $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year; Max Ad Free, the plan most similar to the old HBO Max subscription, will cost $15.99 per month or $149.99 per year; and a new Max Ultimate Ad Free tier will cost $19.99 per month or $199.99 per year.
Max Ad Lite will offer subscribers up to two simultaneous streams, 1080p resolution, no offline downloads and 5:1 surround sound quality, while Max Ad Free will offer 30 offline downloads in addition to the two simultaneous streams, one resolution 1080p and 5:1 surround sound. sound quality. Max Ultimate Ad Free will offer up to 4 simultaneous streams, up to 4K HD resolution, 100 offline downloads and Dolby Atmos sound quality.
The Ultimate Ad-Free tier will feature an expanded catalog of content available in 4K UHD, including key programs such as “Game of Thrones”, “The Last of Us”, “Harry Potter”, “Lord of the Rings”, ” The Dark”. Knight” trilogy and more. All Warner Bros. Movies released this year and in the future will also be available in 4K UHD when they arrive on Max after their cinema windows.
Existing HBO Max subscribers will have access to Max for the same price as their current subscription and will be able to access features in their current plan for at least six months after launch. HBO Max subscribers’ profiles, settings, viewing history, “Keep Watching” and “My List” items will also migrate to Max, so they can resume streaming where they left off.
The service will leverage PayPal as a new payment method and Max will alert customers of payment failures with notifications through multiple product activation and deactivation messages, including in-app messages on TVs. connected.
Discovery+ will remain a standalone service costing $4.99 per month with ads or $6.99 per month without ads and its subscribers will be unaffected by the changes.
“Discovery+ has maintained a large and engaged user base and is a profitable streaming service, so we don’t want to leave profitable subscribers behind,” said JB Perrette, President and CEO of Global Streaming and WBD games.
In addition to pricing, executives teased several new features and improvements coming to the platform.
A new video playback experience will deliver smooth, cinematic video to users where and how they prefer to watch. Max will also extend customization beyond the simple homepage,
delivering a differentiated, high-performance experience for every user across the service.
At launch, Max will introduce a default kids profile for new subscribers along with accompanying parental controls. Parents can choose to customize settings and limit children’s profile content by
classifications: small kids (TV-Y), big kids (TV-Y7, TV-Y7-FV), big kids plus (TV-G, G), tweens (TV-PG/PG), or teens (TV-14, PG-13). Parents will also have the ability to set individual profile PINs to lock access to their adult profiles, as well as a parent code to lock their children in the Max Kids experience.
App start times, video start times, and general browsing response times will be 20% to 30% faster depending on the device you’re using.
The relaunch comes as the entertainment giant underwent a major restructuring, which it expects to complete by the end of 2024. WBD estimates that the measures, including layoffs and other cost reductions, will result in up to $5.3 billion in pretax restructuring charges, including up to $3.5 billion in content impairment and development write-offs.
“All of these improvements will provide a better experience for our customers and kick start a very productive flywheel,” added Perrette. “More engagement leads to better retention, which lower churn improves customer satisfaction, which will ultimately help us continue to grow our subscribers.”
At the end of 2022, Warner Bros. Discovery had a total of 96.1 million direct-to-consumer subscribers on HBO Max and Discovery+.