HBO Max’s first price hike raises the monthly rate by $1

HBO Max’s first price hike raises the monthly rate by $1

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Beginning Thursday, the cost of an ad-free HBO Max subscription is going up from $14.99 to $15.99 per month. The increase comes after HBO pulled hundreds of episodes of classic cartoons and shows like Westworld from the service.

But you’re paying a little more for a lot less than you used to.
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

HBO Max is the next streaming service to get a price increase, its first one since launching in 2020. Starting Thursday, the cost of a new subscription to HBO Max will increase from $14.99 to $15.99 per month. Existing subscribers will pay the new price with their next billing cycle “on or after” February 11th.

“This price increase of one dollar will allow us to continue to invest in providing even more culture-defining programming and improving our customer experience for all users,” HBO Max wrote in a press email.

While Netflix’s creeping price hikes have accumulated over several years, in recent months, many streaming services raised prices as they try to prove to investors that they can build viable businesses.

But with HBO Max’s many recent content removals, including Westworld and hundreds of classic cartoons and Sesame Street episodes, this price increase stings just a bit extra, as you’re now paying a little more for a lot less content. It appears that the ad-supported plan will keep its $9.99 per month cost.

WarnerMedia merged with Discovery last April, and the combined companies now have a $30 billion market cap — half of the $60 billion they rated immediately after combining. At a recent conference, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav noted that “it’s going to be hard” to meet the company’s 2023 earnings forecast of $12 billion, according to CNBC, and this price increase could help close some of that gap.

This spring, HBO Max and Discovery Plus are set to be merged into a single app, which will reportedly be called Max.

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Jay Peters

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