When Warner Bros. Discovery rebooted HBO Max into Max in May, legacy customers got to keep perks like 4K video for at least six month. But that perk, as well as an extra concurrent stream, will be going away next month.
Max customers have started to receive email notifications about the removal of the features. Their plans will now fall inline with the $15.99-a-month “ad-free” tier of service, which includes full HD video, two simultaneous streams (instead of three), and 30 downloads (which remains unchanged). Customers who want to retain their perks will need to subscribe to the $19.99 “ultimate” tier, which gives you 4K video, four simultaneous streams, Dolby Atmos audio and 100 downloads.
The changes take place on or after December 5.
It’s just the latest example of a streaming service clawing back or shuffling features as the media companies increasingly look to turn a profit. In January, the service, then known as HBO Max, already raised the price of its offering. Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav hinted in September that Max could even get more expensive over time.
“When we increased the price, the loss to us has been very minimal,” Zaslav said about previous increases in September. He said that he believes the price for premium content has actually come down, and that he sees “more meaningful opportunities to move on price.”
Companies have been increasingly driving customers to the lower end ad-tiers to create a large enough audience to attract advertisers. The company’s “with ads” plan costs $9.99 a month and allows for two streams and HD video, with no downloads.
A spokesman wasn’t immediately available to comment further on the changes.
Photo Credit: Warner Bros Discovery