I bet I’ll cancel HBO Max this year (if not early next year), and I’k not exactly happy about it. Yes, while HBO Max is the all-time streaming service right at present, I believe there’south going to be a time when I’m going to have to say good day to the service — albeit temporarily.
Yes, just like Netflix — whose subscriber woes are well publicized — I retrieve HBO Max is about to have a trouble with “churn.” Churning, if you’re not familiar, is that state of affairs where people abolish a service but to come dorsum later. I recommend everyone attempt it out, just like when I canceled Netflix and and then came back when the service had something I wanted.
Canceling HBO Max feels so alien to me in abstract because information technology is so good at releasing a steady stream of corking new shows and movies. Every month, HBO Max has a strong position in my column on streaming services to cancel this calendar month. And so, why do I look I’ll abolish HBO Max?
HBO Max starts at $9.99 per calendar month
(opens in new tab)
An HBO Max price hike feels ‘inevitable’
This business has been on my mind since March, when we learned how Discovery’s and then-impending acquisition of WarnerMedia was going to impact HBO Max (a WarnerMedia site). At the Deutsche Bank 30th Annual Media, Internet & Telecom Conference, Discovery CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels, every bit reported by Multifariousness
(opens in new tab), declared that “1 of the about important items here is that nosotros believe in a combined product as opposed to a bundle.”
This news — that Warner Bros. Discovery (the new name for the mega-company) will merge HBO Max and Discovery Plus to form a super-site — landed like a pb balloon for myself. Considering information technology screams that a price hike is inevitable. And HBO Max is already expensive at $14.99 per month (I pay for the advert-complimentary tier, and maybe a cost hike would kicking me to the ad-supported tier?), simply I don’t desire to spend that much as it is. And I don’t want ads either. And if this new service is too expensive? I’yard ready to say “farewell for now.”
HBO Max starts at $9.99 per calendar month (with ads) and Discovery Plus costs $4.99 per month (as well with ads) — and then it’s non similar 1 of these services is then cheap that they could be combined without increasing the price that HBO Max (or Discovery Plus) subscribers pay.
Maybe CNN Plus (R.I.P.) content could exist added to HBO Max without a toll hike (because nobody was paying for information technology), but Discovery Plus seems like something that Warner Bros. Discovery won’t requite a style for free.
|HBO Max||Discovery Plus|
|Monthly ad-free cost||$xiv.99||$6.99|
|Monthly advertisement-supported price||$9.99||$4.99|
But while my gut feeling on this is informed, I wanted to confer with an expert. So I asked 1 of my favorite people in the streaming landscape — Julia Alexander, a senior strategy analyst at Parrot Analytics — if she agreed that HBO Max is about to cost more.
And, unfortunately for me and any HBO Max subscribers like myself, she agreed. She even used the word ‘inevitable,’ which had been rattling around in my head since Wiedenfels’ announcement.
Doubtful. And, while price hikes are inevitable, trying to reduce churn upon initial offering so that a pricing strategy can exist developed for concluding product feels similar the almost opportunistic way for WarBroDisco to move forward. So maybe not a massive hike.April 26, 2022
Julia’southward notion that it won’t be a massive price hike makes a lot of sense — Warner Bros. Discovery won’t want to actively push people abroad with a big hike, they’re as enlightened of this every bit I am. Both of us, I should add, aren’t making this statement based on any within information. This is speculation
(opens in new tab), albeit well-informed speculation.
Why a HBO Max and Discovery Plus mega-service is a bad idea
Warner Bros. Discovery is a large enough company that I’m sure it’s washed the assay to know that there’due south enough overlapping interest in HBO Max and Discovery Plus to merit such a combination. Unfortunately for all involved, I’yard not one of them.
I’d rather Warner Bros. Discovery become the Disney Plus package route: let people save when they get Disney Plus, Hulu and ESPN Plus, and also requite the choice for picking and choosing.
This is because I have well-nigh as much interest in Discovery Plus as I have in cable Idiot box, as information technology feels similar a leftover from that era. And forcing people to pay more for programming they don’t want
feels like a holdover from the past.
Yes, I’d throw back the Deadliest Catch, cancel Shark Calendar week, divorce the ninety Day Fiancée, evict the Holding Brothers and outburst Dr. Pimple Popper. Sure, I’d have a seat alongside Guy Fieri at any of the Diners, Bulldoze-Ins and Dives he wants to accept me to, but ane show does not a (expert) streaming service make.
Outlook: How much longer do I accept — and how WBD may counter-program against churn
This merged HBO Max and Discovery Plus service won’t be happening in the immediate hereafter. Wiedenfels has said it will likely be “nothing that’s going to happen in weeks — hopefully non in years, but in several months.” In the meantime, we will encounter a “bundling arroyo” as an “interim solution.” Withal, the cease goal is articulate and terminal.
Aside from starting with a smaller price hike — say, going from $14.99 per month for ad-free HBO Max to $17.99 per month for the advertizement-free super-service — I envision the price hike coming alongside the release of a show or flavor or movie that HBO Max customers care about. Simply if the ad-supported version of this service was $14.99 per month? I’d exist on my way to cancel HBO Max.
Sure, I may not desire Discovery Plus, only many HBO Max subscribers may have a deep need for Firm of the Dragon, the Game of Thrones spinoff set for Baronial. Personally, that wouldn’t be plenty to go on me hanging on. They could employ Euphoria season 3 to become me to come back, though. I know that for sure.
For now, though, I’ve got i strategy: catch up on all the HBO Max shows in my to-watch-list I have been told are must-sees. In no detail gild, that means I want to crash through The Leftovers, enjoy Vice Principals and also effigy out if I actually like Doom Patrol or non. So, hopefully, by the fourth dimension HBO Max inevitably raises its prices, my subscription will stay or become based on the quality of its upcoming offerings.
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