As It Removes Content, HBO Max Hikes Subscription Price by 7 Percent

Apologies to your wallet.
Apologies to your wallet. / SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

Of all the streaming services out there, HBO Max has looked like the one in the most turmoil lately, with newly formed parent company Warner Bros. Discovery laying off employees and removing content. Both Westworld and The Nevers left HBO Max to be aired on FAST (free ad-supported television) services. Warner Bros. Discovery also removed old episodes of Sesame Street, hundreds of classic Looney Tunes shorts, and three seasons of The Flintstones. And that’s on top of canceling projects like the second season of Minx and the Batgirl movie.

Warner Bros. Discovery has said it’s done with its purges, but still, that’s a lot of bloodletting. You’d think this was the worst time to announce a price hike on top of everything else—but that’s exactly what is happening, according to Variety.

How much does HBO Max cost?

Formerly at $14.99 per month, HBO Max was already among the most expensive streaming services on offer. But effective as of January 12, 2023, that price has risen to $15.99 for the ad-free tier, an increase of 7 percent. There’s no word on whether HBO Max will also raise the price of its ad-supported subscription plan, which currently costs $9.99 per month.

“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,” the company said in a statement.

Users have known a price increase was coming for a while, but the timing still feels rough. One bright spot: This spring, HBO Max is set to combine with Discovery+, which will mean a slew of new content, most of it unscripted. That might be worth an extra dollar a month, but subscribers don’t know yet what WBD will charge for that.