Details of HBO Max’s promised ad-supported service tier were revealed Wednesday by WarnerMedia – which is owned by AT&T – listing a reduced $9.99 per month fee, amounting to a $5 per month savings off the regular $14.99 premium ad-free option.

In the announcement, which was made as part of a 2021 WarnerMedia Upfront event, the ad-supported subscription tier will make its debut the first week of June.

At the same time, HBO Max revealed several upcoming new and original series and special programs including “And Just Like That…,” and “Friends: The Reunion,” which is called a real-life unscripted celebration of the beloved show,” and previewed forthcoming seasons of “Legendary,” “The Flight Attendant” and “Search Party,” among others.

However, the ad-supported tier will not include exclusive same-day premiere movies debuting in theaters and on the HBO Max premium subscription tier throughout 2021. In addition to suffering through advertising insertions, subscribers to the ad-supported option will miss out on planned movie premieres, including “Dune” and “The Matrix 4,” which will only be available online at release for the $14.99 per month option.

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In the announcement, HBO Max made a big deal to potential clients about its new advertising technology that will be used with the lower-priced option. According to the announcement, the ad-supported HBO Max will have the “lightest ad load among ad-supported streamers.” This would be a reference to competitive services like Hulu/Peacock that also offers an ad-supported option.

According to the announcement, “HBO Max with Ads is launching with most major agency holding companies and a wide array of brands across all verticals and categories, powering ongoing innovation through test and learn with marketplace partners.

“At launch and over the next several months, advertisers will have access to key formats and adjacencies, allowing them to align their message to make meaningful impact alongside a slate of iconic brands, talent and storytellers, including formats and offerings like:

Brand Block (Available now): Where brands own a block of content and consumers delight in a limited commercial experience.

Pause Ads (Coming soon): Create a new space to connect with meaningful engagement opportunities when a consumer takes a break.

Branded Discovery (Coming soon): Surround the content discovery process as consumers explore HBO Max recommended programming.”

In other announcements, WarnerMedia also indicated that the HBO Max service will launch without ads in 39 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean starting in late June, and in parts of Europe later in the year.

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By Greg Tarr

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