HBO Max $9.99 ad-supported tier coming in June — is it a good deal?

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The rumored HBO Max ad-supported tier is coming in June 2021, and in exchange for that discount, you're going to get some ads, and a little less content. But is it a good enough deal for you to buy in now?

Announced at the end of the WarnerMedia Upfront event, this new package will add what Warner calls the "lightest ad-load in the industry." But on top of that, there will be ads when you pause programming. Yep, Pause Ads are now a thing. Which sounds ... not great.

HBO Max's ad-supported tier pricing

HBO Max with ads costs $9.99 per month, a discount from the $14.99 per month normal HBO Max package. That's $2 more than Disney Plus (which has no ads) and costs $7.99 per month.

That said, HBO Max has a more diverse library than Disney, giving subscribers stuff for kids and their parents, too — and not just focused on family-friendly content.

HBO Max's ad-supported tier content

You won't get everything from HBO Max, though, if you subscribe. Those big-name films such as The Suicide Squad and Space Jam 2, debuting the same day on HBO Max as in theaters, are exclusive to the $14.99 per month tier. 

To quote the announcement from HBO Max, "Subscribers to the ad supported tier of HBO Max will have access to the full HBO Max content catalog, excluding Warner Bros. Same-Day Premiere films debuting in theaters and on HBO Max throughout 2021."

That means you'll get the new Gossip Girl show, The Flight Attendant season 2, the new Harry Potter TV show and much more.

HBO Max's ad-supported tier outlook

Honestly, the HBO Max vault is great, but the service is making its name with movies such as Godzilla vs Kong, Judas and The Black Messiah and the upcoming In the Heights and Dune movie.

We could see someone down-grading to the $9.99 tier if no big movies they're excited about are coming out, though. But anyone who hasn't subscribed to HBO Max already will probably be disappointed to learn that this new tier won't include some of the biggest reasons to get an HBO Max account.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.