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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

HBO Max, Eager to Lure Subscribers, Launches Limited-Time 20% Price Discount

WarnerMedia is looking to drive up HBO Max subscribers as the third quarter of 2020 winds down.

Starting Friday, Sept. 4, new and returning customers who sign up for HBO Max are eligible to get the service for $11.99 per month for the next 12 months. That’s a 20% discount off the regular $14.99 price, and an annual savings of $36.

The promo is available to “any new customers and returning subscribers whose accounts have lapsed” through Sept. 25, 2020, WarnerMedia said.

The media conglomerate launched a similar 20% discount on HBO Max in the month leading up the May 27 launch.

However, that promo was available only via direct signups with WarnerMedia. With the new “Save for 12” offer, the $11.99 monthly price for HBO Max is available through WarnerMedia as well as participating partners Apple (on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple TV), Google, Hulu, YouTube TV, Comcast Xfinity, RCN, Grande Communications and Wave.

Besides the relatively high $15-per-month price point, HBO Max is suffering from being unavailable on two of the biggest streaming device platforms — Roku and Amazon’s Fire TV. The spat between WarnerMedia and the two companies over deal terms includes a key sticking point: WarnerMedia wants to retire the legacy HBO service sold through the Roku Channel and Amazon Prime Video to have HBO Max available as a standalone app, and neither of the device makers wants to do that.

In announcing Q2 results, AT&T said about 3 million new subscribers purchased HBO Max directly from WarnerMedia via online signups in the roughly one-month period following its launch. There were 4.1 million total activations of the HBO Max app — meaning that the vast majority of HBO’s existing subscribers had not yet accessed HBO Max even though it is available for no extra charge those who already pay for HBO. The company said it had 36.3 million total U.S. subscribers to HBO Max and HBO as of the end of Q2 (of which 26.6 million were either HBO Max subscribers or existing HBO customers eligible to upgrade to HBO Max).

“We are always looking for ways to enhance our customer experience, so as we head into fall we felt it was the perfect time to pair the incredible lineup of original programming available on HBO Max with an offer that provides customers with even more value,” Andy Forssell, EVP and GM of WarnerMedia Direct-To-Consumer, said in a statement.

HBO Max offers more than 10,000 hours of premium content, including the entire HBO service, Max Originals, content from Warner Bros. and DC’s library of movies and TV series, and programming from WarnerMedia’s CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Looney Tunes and TCM.


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