Max subscription prices are about to go up again — yup, streaming is becoming cable

Max streaming service logo on phone with Max logo on a blue background
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Streaming is becoming cable as our monthly bills continue to rise. 

In the latest war on your wallet, Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) is planning another price increase for the streaming service Max. This comes a year after the ad-free tier price was raised to $15.99 per month in early 2023. 

A report from Bloomberg highlights all the ways that WBD is trying to both save money and hit certain financial targets in the next few years. And one of them is unfortunately a price hike. 

Update May 9: Warner Bros. Discovery and Disney have announced that a new Disney Plus, Hulu and Max streaming bundle is coming this summer. 

WBD CEO David Zaslav has already done a bunch of cost cutting and layoffs to deal with more than $50 billion in debt, but is now looking to expand or find new streams of revenue for the company. One of the financial goals for WBD is to reach $1 billion in earnings from the Max and Discovery+ streaming apps. 

According to Bloomberg, WBD has decided to raise prices in order to reach that $1 billion goal. Right now, the Max streaming service costs $9.99 a month for the with ads plan, $15.99 for the ad-free plan with the ability to stream on 2 devices at once and $19.99 for its ultimate plan, which includes 4K streaming and supports 4 devices simultaneoulsy. However, a new price plan has not been announced as of this writing. 

In a statement Warner Bros. told Bloomberg: 

“The company is focused on the long-term growth of the business overall, including Max, which has been a priority across WBD to expand the original content offerings for our streaming audiences including news originals from CNN, March Madness and NBA Finals from sports, local language content from international, and a new distribution deal with A24.”

It’s unclear how many subscribers WBD currently has but Variety reported in August of 2023 that the streaming service had lost nearly 2 million subscribers between April and June last year. This was the same quarter that WBD rebranded HBO Max to just Max and relaunched on May 23.

Warner Bros. has a first quarter earnings call on Thursday morning (May 9). It is likely that any changes to Max prices will be announced on Friday. The Bloomberg article reported that analysts predict a sales decline of 4% for the company due to shrinking cable TV advertising and subscriber revenue.

It should be noted that, today, Variety posted a comparison of 2023 media CEO pay packages. Zaslav’s compensation was $49.7 million last year, nearly 27% higher than the year before. That's enough for for over 3.1 million Max subscriptions. For now. 

More from Tom's Guide

Scott Younker
West Coast Reporter

Scott Younker is the West Coast Reporter at Tom’s Guide. He covers all the lastest tech news. He’s been involved in tech since 2011 at various outlets and is on an ongoing hunt to build the easiest to use home media system. When not writing about the latest devices, you are more than welcome to discuss board games or disc golf with him.