HBO Max is raising its subscription prices for the first time since the streaming service launched in May 2020, effective immediately.
The price of a new HBO Max ad-free monthly subscription in the U.S. will increase from $14.99 to $15.99 plus applicable taxes.
Existing subscribers who are paying $14.99/month will see their monthly rate increase to $15.99 effective their next billing cycle on or after Saturday, February 11, 2023.
HBO Max says the 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.”
A price increase for HBO Max has been expected since Warner Bros. Discovery’s Q3 earnings call, during which JB Perrette, president and CEO of global streaming and games at Warner Bros. Discovery noted the lack of a hike and said that by 2023, “it will have been three years since pricing has moved, which we think is an opportunity, particularly in this environment.”
News of a price increase comes in the wake of a turbulent 2022 for Warner Bros. Discovery, as the company’s stock plummeted and CEO David Zaslav sought controversial cost-saving measures like scrapping the completed “Batgirl” film and removing a slew of content from HBO Max.
Many of the shows removed from HBO Max, including “Westworld” and “Love Life,” are now being licensed to third-party FAST services — which stands for free, ad-supported streaming TV (like Amazon’s Freevee or Roku Channel).
“Warner Bros. Discovery continues to strategically assess how best to maximize audiences and monetization opportunities for its content,” the company said in December. “The company has recently decided to license certain HBO and HBO Max original programming to third party FAST services to be part of a packaged offering which will drive new, expanded audiences for these series. As we prepare for this transition, these series will be coming off of the HBO Max service in the coming days.”
2023 has seen a stock turnaround for WBD. On Tuesday, Goldman Sachs analyst Brett Feldman listed the company as “favorite media stock” for 2023, and shares are now up over 30% since the end of December.