Why does HBO Max have commercials?

Ads-free experiences have become so rare today. No matter what we opt for, we get stuffed with so many ads that it gets nothing but frustrating. Although all the platforms do offer premium services as well where you can have an ad-free experience. But it does sound a bit unfair that you are asked to pay for the subscription to get the stream without any advertisements. 

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On the topic of streaming, we need to bring to highlight HBO Max that has been making its way to the top in the streaming service category not only due to its affordability but also for its vast library of original content as well. In the end, that’s all a viewer wants; to find a platform that has it all in store for them, more like a one-stop for them. Recently, we have been seeing a version of HBO Max with commercials, which might look seemingly odd for many. So we are here to clear any ambiguity for you and discuss in detail that why does HBO Max has commercials now? 

HBO Max Overview

HBO Max is a WarnerMedia streaming service that features original HBO documentaries and television series, as well as shows from DC and Warner Bros., award-winning specials, and family-friendly favorites. From preschoolers to teenagers to adults, HBO Max has got everyone covered due to its vast library of content. 

HBO Max costs $15 a month. It does seem pricey at first, but for the quality of the content available on the streaming service, it certainly is worth it. With it has almost 60 million subscribers and also offers the cheapest plan at $9.99 so you can have the exclusive HBO content at the lowest rates. HBO Max is giving its competition the run for their money due to their constantly increasing loyal viewers.

Why Does HBO Max Have Commercials?

For those, who might be unaware of this new development (only if you are living under a rock), WarnerMedia released a cost-efficient and rather cheaper and ad-supported version of HBO Max. It is only available in the United States as of yet. The firm has promised no more than four minutes of adverts per hour of streaming video for the $9.99 monthly HBO Max with ads package. It’s 33% less expensive than HBO Max without advertisements, which costs $14.99 per month.

Apart from all the commercial breaks and other ad formats, there are a few important distinctions between the ad-supported HBO Max version and the full-price tier, which are as follows:

  • The HBO Max ad-supported version does not include Warner Bros. premiere titles on the same day that will be released in cinemas and on HBO Max for the entire year 2021. As part of HBO’s output arrangement with Warner Bros., all of those titles will be made available on both the plans when they appear on the streaming service after a few months of their theatrical premieres.
  • The video quality of the streaming video will be limited to 1080p, while certain titles in the standard HBO Max without advertising will be available in 4K Ultra HD.
  • There will be no option to download material for offline viewing in the ad-supported tier.

Otherwise, HBO Max subscription tiers offer the same programming roster, which includes all HBO material as well as movies and shows from DC, Turner Classic Movies, Warner Bros., Cartoon Network, and plenty more. Commercials will not air during HBO programming in the HBO Max with advertising version, according to Warner Media.

The future of commercials on HBO Max

For now, HBO Max’s cheaper version with commercials has signed deals with almost 35 advertisers of different categories all with different 72 spots and it has also introduced a feature; ‘the frequency caps’ where the viewer will not view the same ad more than a few times. Also, it plans on making the ads much more personalized based on the audience’s viewing. HBO Max with ads will be intended to provide marketers with the most brand-safe and elegant experience in the business.


Just like cable TV, we are seeing the trends of advertisements in streaming platforms as well. Even though the advertisements get frustrating for the audiences, but the services do need them to generate revenue for their businesses.

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