The ad-free HBO Max subscription price has increased by $1/month

The $1/month price increase marks the first time since the service’s 2015 debut that WarnerMedia has boosted the asking price of the ad-free subscription.

A white HBO Max logo set against a purple gradient background
Image: WarnerMedia
  • What’s happening? HBO Max is increasing the price of its ad-free subscription from $15/month to $16/month, meaning customers will need to pay an extra $1/month or $12/year to continue streaming their favorite shows.
  • Why care? This is the first time HBO Max has jacked up the price of its $15/month ad-free tier since its debut in 2015. WarnerMedia isn’t alone in this; other streaming services have already made their offerings more expensive.
  • What to do? We strongly suggest you review all the streaming services you subscribe to and cancel those you’re not regularly watching.

HBO Max price increase: the ad-free tier is now $16/month

An HBO Max spokesperson confirmed the price increase to TechCrunch, saying current users will see the new price on their next billing cycle. The unpopular move was conveniently timed just a few days before HBO Max’s highly anticipated “The Last of Us” television adaptation is set to debut on January 15.

Existing subscribers who are currently 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. 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.

For new signups, however, the higher price is already in effect. If you’re unhappy with this subscription price increase, consider downgrading to the ad-free account, which hasn’t increased in price. Unfortunately, HBO Max doesn’t offer free trials.

With or without ads: Which HBO Max are you?

If you prefer to pay yearly instead of $16/month, the ad-free HBO Max service will set you back $150 per annum. There’s also the ad-supported version, called “HBO Max With Ads,” which will cost you $10/month or $100/year. The ad-supported tier is more affordable but it excludes offline downloads, support for 4K resolution on select movies, and streaming when traveling to other countries.

If you don’t need any of those features and don’t mind having your entertainment interrupted by advertisingm consider switching to the ad-supported service.

For complete pricing information, visit the HBO Max Help.

HBO Max is merging with Discovery Plus this spring. As a result, HBO Max saw some of its most popular shows canceled or put on ice, like “Westworld.” Other shows have been removed from the service altogether, including “OK K.O.!,” “Let’s Be Heroes,” “Summer Camp Island,” and “Raised By Wolves.”

Streaming services have jacked up subscription prices

After years of expansion, major streaming services are now faced with rising licensing costs and anemic subscriber growth. With the pandemic over and streaming fatigue in full swing, services have decided to squeeze more money out of existing customers by increasing prices.

In 2022, Netflix boosted the price of all its streaming plans in the United States while introducing an ad-supported subscription for the first time in its history. Not even Apple is immune to this trend, announcing in October 2022 that Apple TV+ and Music were going up in price while the Apple One bundle also became pricier.

The following month, Disney+ increased its monthly subscription price by as much as 38 percent, going from $8 to $11 in the United States. The Mickey Mouse house also introduced the new Disney+ Basic with ads plan, set at $8/month. Meanwhile, Hulu’s ad-free service went from $13/month to $15/month while its ad-supported version increased by $1/month.