Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

Popular streaming services have gradually become more expensive over the past few years, and that trend is not stopping. Max, the service owned by Warner Bros. Discovery, is now raising prices again.

Max, which used to be called HBO Max, just raised prices across most of its monthly and yearly plans. The “Ad-Free” plan has jumped from $15.99 per month to $16.99/month, while the “Ultimate Ad-Free” plan increased from $19.99/month to $20.99/month. The Ad-Free plan limits you to two devices streaming at once, and it limits the maximum resolution to 1080p. The Ultimate plan bumps that up to four devices and 4K, and it adds support for Dolby Atmos audio.

The yearly pricing is also going up, but you still get a savings of roughly 16% compared to paying each month for a year—assuming you want Max continuously for a year, anyway. The Ad-Free plan now costs $169.99/year, and Ultimate Ad-Free costs $209.99/year.

Choose your Plan screen on Max website

The only plan not changing in price is the “With Ads” plan, which is staying at $9.99/month or $99.99/year. That’s the same pattern we’ve seen with Netflix’s continuous price increases. The ad-supported plans are much more profitable for streaming services, so streaming services keep them inexpensive to bring in new subscribers. For comparison, Netflix’s ad-supported plan is $6.99/month, while Netflix Premium has ballooned to $22.99/month.

This is the first increase in pricing for Max since January 2023, which was back when it was still called HBO Max. That was the first time the ad-free version ever changed in price, but given this news and other streaming services trying similar tactics, this will probably be an annual tradition.

This is also a great reminder that cycling streaming services is the best way to watch everything you want—when a show ends or you’ve seen all the movies you care about on one service, cancel your subscription and switch to something else for a while. That’s a lot cheaper than paying for multiple streaming services at once. You might want to consider buying your favorite TV shows and movies on physical media, too.

Source: The TV Answer Man, Max

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By John P.

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