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Max’s Limited-Time Ad-Free Deal Is Not As Good As It Was Last Week

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Max recently launched a new promotion that discounts the price of its annual plans by up to 45%. However, the Warner Bros. Discovery streaming service adjusted its offer earlier this week, lowering the maximum saving down to 42%.

Specifically, Max has adjusted the limited-time discount of its Ad-Free plan. When the promotion first launched, new and existing subscribers could get a full year of the Ad-Free tier for $104.99, down from the usual $149.99 annual price. Now, however, the Max website is listing the same tier at $110.99, $6 more than the previously available limited-time deal.

From what we can tell, the change took effect on Sunday (March 24). A Max help page detailing the terms of the offer has also since been updated to replace the limited-time $104.99/year price of the Ad-Free plan with the $110.99/year price.

When the promotion first launched, we did think it was a little strange that Max was offering 45% off the standard Ad-Free plan while only offering 42% off the With Ads and Ultimate Ad-Free plans. At the time we just assumed Max was probably trying to actively encourage those considering the With Ads plan to upgrade to the Ad-Free plan.

We had also considered this adjustment could be a warning sign that a price increase for the Ad-Free annual plan might take effect once the current deal ends. While it is unusual for streaming services to only increase the price of one tier, and especially one annual plan tier, the Ad Free annual plan has remained cheaper than usual and we have suspected it would eventually increase.

To explain, back when Max was known as HBO Max, the streaming service increased the price of its ad-free subscription by $1 to $15.99 a month. When a subscription price increases like this, the annual plan normally always increases accordingly. In the case of a $1 monthly increase, this would typically result in a $10 yearly increase. However, Max didn’t increase the price of its annual plan at the time and hasn’t since. With this in mind, we have expected a $10 price increase might eventually hit the annual Ad-Free plan.

However, that also doesn’t appear to be the case. While the help post has been updated to reflect the change from $104.99/year to $110.99/year, the updated version of the help page continues to state that subscribers will pay “the then-current yearly subscription rate” of $149.99/year for the Ad-Free tier after the 12-month discounted period. As a result, we don’t currently expect the price to increase once the current promotion ends on April 9, 2024.

With the adjusted discount now also totaling 42%, no adjustments made to the discounts available with the other tiers, and no indication that a price increase is on the horizon, it may simply be the case that Warner Bros. Discovery always meant for the limited-time price of Max’s Ad-Free plan to be $110.99 and initially offered a greater discount than originally intended.

John Finn
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John Finn

By John Finn

John Finn is the Founder and Editor of Streaming Better, a platform created in 2019 to help consumers navigate the complicated live TV streaming and subscription service market.

John has been covering technology for various online publications since 2014. After originally covering the wider tech industry as a writer and editor, John now spends his time focusing on the emerging video-streaming market, including live TV streaming, SVOD, AVOD, FAST, and TVOD services.

In a bid to keep up to date on the industry, John actively subscribes to multiple streaming services at the same time. However, John continues to advocate that the best approach for consumers is to rotate between streaming services as needed.

A Psychology graduate from England, who now lives in the US, John previously worked in the aviation industry as an airline reviewer. While reviewing airlines isn't quite the same as reviewing devices and streaming services, John brings the same analytical eye to all of his reviews and industry analysis, along with a special emphasis on what's best for the consumer.

Connect with John
Email: john@streamingbetter.com
X: @J_Finns
Website: JohnFinn.net

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