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The Big Bang Theory Sheldon Cooper Jim Parsons CBS

HBO Max is here, and if you are feeling a little sting in your wallet, there is some good news in sight. The new streamer has announced when it plans to start setting up its cheaper subscription plan. Right now, it costs subscribers one penny shy of $15 to stream The Big Bang Theory and other TV shows.

There could be a way to view said content cheaper than the going rate. HBO Max will release an ad-supported version early next year. On what the future holds for the currently pricey streamer, AT&T WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey told CNBC:

We believe the long term dynamics will be both subscription and advertising supported. If you think about what consumers like, they like choice. You don’t necessarily mind ads, if they’re executed well and they’re relevant.

HBO Max eventually plans to have a subscription-based and ad-supported option for subscribers. It also seems HBO Max has a friendly outlook on ads, which sets it apart from Netflix. The streaming giant has notoriously resisted commercials. NBCUniversal’s upcoming service, Peacock, on the other hand, has embraced them at specific price points.

At nearly $15 a month, you better bet that HBO Max would need to be ad-free for me to consider paying into it. The price is just a dollar over double what Disney+ commands at almost $7. Meanwhile, Apple TV+ is blowing both of its rivals out of the water. The home of Jennifer Aniston’s recent drama, The Morning Show, costs subscribers $5 a month.

Meanwhile HBO Max, the new home to Jennifer Aniston’s star-making series Friends, is commanding triple what Apple TV+ is requesting for its membership. When you are asking for the big money HBO Max is right out of the gate, it better have something going for it, and HBO Max does. There is a lot of content for subscribers to explore.

Of course, prospective consumers likely only have so much money to spend on entertainment, and choosing which streamer to support has to be carefully considered. There is a seemingly endless supply of services. Many consumers may not be able to add one without having to take one away.

In a world where HBO Max, HBO Go, and HBO Now exist, it is easy to get confused. Some things remain straightforward, such as how much it will currently cost subscribers to get in on the action. HBO Max has come ready to play hardball for consumers’ money with an impressive library that includes a lot of tempting content.

Being able to stream The Big Bang Theory is nothing to sniff at, and HBO Max has more in store for subscribers. That postponed (and pricey) Friends reunion is coming. Oh, and there is going to be a Justice League Dark series, so again, nothing to ignore.

How many people are willing to spend more to avoid ads versus those willing to endure them to save some money remains to be seen. I, for one, cannot handle ads of any length beyond 5 seconds. For those who can, HBO Max’s alternative ad-supported option should be appealing.

Before it launched, HBO Max’s boss expressed the belief that the streamer could beat Disney+, which has torn onto the scene with a vengeance. For its part, HBO Max has been commanding a high price to go toe-to-toe with it. HBO Max is now available to stream. So, there will be something to accompany this summer’s premieres.

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