Ad-Supported HBO Max Tier Reportedly in the Works, 2021 Launch Possible





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WarnerMedia could be prepping a new, ad-supported tier for its HBOMax streaming service, possibly for launch in 2021. The company is reportedly in talks with ad buyers about the feature, which could go live in the second quarter of 2021 — or potentially sooner to capitalize on NCAA basketball tournaments.

Specific details aren’t exactly plentiful, but according to those who have been briefed on the plan, subscribers would see a maximum of four minutes of ads per hour for episodic content. Meanwhile, movie watchers will have to sit through two minutes of ads per movie. WarnerMedia is apparently still working out a few key details, including the possibility it won’t be able to sell ads for top-tier HBO programming due to existing agreements and concerns it would hurt the brand. In addition, some ad agencies are reportedly worried about the HBO Max’s continued absence on the Roku and Fire TV platforms, which could limit the potential audience and reach for ads on the service.

In any case, we’ll keep monitoring WarnerMedia’s efforts, including any official announcements and we’ll report back as we learn more.

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