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HBO Max Just Got A Bit More Expensive For No-Ads Subscribers

Less than five months after temporarily slashing its subscription prices, HBO Max has decided to do an about-face — raising its main viewership price tag by nearly 7%, according to reports.

"HBO Max is back to being more expensive than Netflix," tweeted Bloomberg editor Nick Turner on Thursday, January 12, after news broke about the reported price hike. 

Back in August 2022, Warner Bros. Discovery had announced that it would be offering a 30% and 40% discount — depending on the plan being used — to both new and returning HBO Max customers. The limited-time discount was aimed at users who prepay for a year-long subscription and came at a time when the streaming and entertainment giant was battening down its financial hatches and entering full cost-saving mode. While it may sound like a decent deal, people on social media weren't buying Warner Bros.' generosity.

"HBO Max keeps destroying its own catalog and then they have the balls to ask people to prepay for a year to get a 40% discount," wrote Twitter user @alex_instead. "If you're cutting 40% of your content, people are going to opt for the 100% discount," they said. Fast-forward to January 2023 — with the newly reported price hike being announced — and the 40% is sounding better than ever.

HBO Max will now cost $15.99 a month instead of $14.99

According to Warner Bros. Discovery, people who sign up for HBO Max's no-ads subscription will now be forced to cough up $15.99 a month instead of the regular $14.99 fee, which has been in place since the app's debut in May 2020 (via Variety). In a statement, the company said: "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." Needless to say, the public isn't loving the move. 

"HBO Max increasing their monthly price by $1 while cutting tons of programming (including hundreds of 'Looney Tunes' shorts), canceling ambitious projects and generally being the worst is quite the move!" wrote TheWrap's Drew Taylor on Twitter. Chicago Tribune reporter Nina Metz said: "'Pay us more for less' is a wild proposition!"

On the surface, a $1 difference in subscription price likely won't hurt HBO Max's viewership numbers or final tally. But what it does do is leave a bad taste in people's mouths, especially since Warner Bros. is about to debut another HBO Max-Discovery+ streaming platform sometime in the spring of 2023 and is still steadily scrapping shows and movies (via Variety). Twitter user @TVMoJoe jokingly tweeted: "To distract attention from the price hike, three previously renewed HBO Max series will be canceled later today, and your 2 favorite seasons of FRIENDS will be taken off the service."