HBO Max will be free for some AT&T customers; cheaper ad-supported option in the works

Back in July, WarnerMedia/AT&T officially announced a brand new streaming option: HBO Max. And now even more details are coming to light for the service that’s primed to launch in early 2020.

Reuters has a breakdown of HBO Max, one of the newest subscription services heading to some customers starting next year. It’s worth noting that WM/AT&T didn’t announce a specific launch date or reveal just how much HBO Max would cost earlier this year, and that’s still the case. We still don’t have a launch date or know how much it will cost.

However, we do know that a few different plans are already in the works for HBO Max, one of which could help drop the cost of the subscription streaming service, while another will just outright make it free for some customers.

Let’s start with the free option. The report states that for AT&T customers that also have an HBO subscription, HBO Max will be free. That’s according to AT&T’s COO John Stankey, who says that’s about 10 million people who are eligible for that particular deal. (HBO is a free option for any AT&T unlimited customer, for what it’s worth.)

In addition to that, HBO Max may become a bundled feature for some AT&T wireless plans in the future. This particular move would be right in line with what we’ve seen from other companies. For instance, some T-Mobile customers get free access to Netflix. Verizon just announced that it will be offering a year’s worth of Disney+ to new and existing unlimited customers. And if you buy a new (or refurbished) Apple product that can stream the upcoming Apple TV+ service as of the middle of September, you get 12 months of free service.

As for a generally cheaper option, the report indicates that WM/AT&T is considering an ad-supported tier of HBO Max, which would help bring down the cost for customers. But the details in this regard are pretty light, and it may not become available until well into 2021.

In addition to that, HBO Max will apparently cover some live content in the future as well.

The real sticking point here for HBO Max is going to be price. This report shows us how AT&T and WarnerMedia are going out of their way to save customers from paying full price –even before it announces the price– but that’s still going to be a major deciding factor for the new streaming service. AT&T wants HBO Max to reach upwards of 80 million subscribers by the end of 2025.

Right now the standard HBO plan costs $15 per month. With all of the content that HBO Max is bringing to the table, including past episodes of popular series like FriendsThe Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, among many others, there is plenty of speculation that it will cost much more than $15 per month. That would make it one of the most expensive streaming options out there if that does indeed turn out to be the case.

Based on all of this new information, and what we already know about HBO Max, is this a subscription service you’re looking forward to? Are you already planning on forking over the monthly cost to access the content therein, no matter how much it might cost?

Let us know in the comments below how you feel about HBO Max.