From CNET: HBO Max gets that, for many HBO fans, the next best thing to zero ads is as few of them as possible. That's why HBO Max With Ads -- the cheaper, ad-supported tier of the streaming service that launches next week -- is aiming to serve fewer of them than anyone else: less than four minutes of ads per hour.
"HBO has previously been a walled-off garden for the last 50 years," said Julian Franco, vice president of product management at HBO Max, referring to the network's freedom from advertising since its origin. "Stories are better received if you limit the disruptions during them."
Priced at $10 a month, HBO Max With Ads represents a $5 discount to HBO Max's ad-free subscription, one of the priciest among its competitors. But more than that, it'll bring advertising into the world of HBO for the first time. HBO has always leaned into the service's liberation from advertising and the creative freedom that allows. There was a reason syndicating Sex and the City to basic cable, where it ran with ads, meant retrofitting episodes into something more like Sex (But No Nudity and Only Light Cursing) in the City.
But to introduce advertising on HBO Max, Franco and others created a playbook for what should be out of bounds based on what customers were likely to love or hate.
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