HBO Max announced a price increase this week, raising the cost of the ad-free plan from $14.99 to $15.99 a month. This is the first time the streaming service has hiked its prices since launching in May 2020. The new price is effective immediately for new subscribers. Existing subscribers will see the new rate during their next billing cycle on or after February 11, 2023.
HBO Max announces $1 price increase
“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,” the company said in a statement on Thursday just prior to the price hike going live.
The timing of the price hike is significant for a few reasons. First, it comes just days before one of HBO’s most anticipated shows of the year, The Last of Us, debuts on the network. If you haven’t signed up already, prepare to pay $1 extra to watch along this season.
HBO Max has also been clearing out a ton of content from its streaming library in recent months to cut costs. Batgirl was permanently shelved despite being ready to release, many popular HBO and HBO Max originals vanished without a trace, and days ago, hundreds of episodes of Looney Tunes and The Flintstones were scrubbed from the service.
Removing a huge chunk of content and then increasing the price of your service is certainly an interesting strategy. That said, the price hike doesn’t affect the $9.99/month ad-supported tier or the yearly plans, which are still priced at $99.99 and $149.99, respectively. Plus, as noted above, this is the first price increase for HBO Max in nearly three years. Netflix has raised its prices twice in the interim, and another might not be far behind if past is prologue.