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Yet another major streaming service has hiked the prices

The halcyon days of multiple streaming services being an affordable a la carte alternative to cable and satellite seem to be coming to an end.

While 2022 was a year that saw most streaming services raise their prices by several pounds/dollars, 2023 has begun in the same vein. This time it’s HBO Max, which has increased the price of its ad-free tier from $14.99 to $15.99 with immediate effect.

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The decision comes after a period where the service’s custodian Warner Bros. Discovery has removed loads of content from the service (so it doesn’t have to pay residuals to cast and crew), and cancelled a lot of other shows. It also ditched an almost-finished Batgirl DC Studios movie deemed too bad to redeem.

“This price increase of one dollar will allow us to continue to invest in providing even more culture-defining programming and improving our customer experience for all users,” a spokesperson for the service said, explaining the increase.

The recently-introduced ad-supported option is staying at $9.99 a month, which is something. I currently subscribe to that tier and the ads really aren’t that intrusive and, for some of the bigger original shows, aren’t present at all.

The decision to increase the prices from HBO is just the latest by a major streaming provider in recent months.

Apple TV Plus raised prices by £2/$2 a month to £6.99/$6.99 back in October 2022, while Disney Plus put its prices up to $10.99 (in the US) from $7.99 a month in December (a UK hike is believed to be in the post).

In October, Hulu increased its ad-free plan by $2 to $14.99, while the ad-supported option went up $1 to $6.99. Netflix’s premium tier went up to a whopping $19.99/£15.99 a month last year.

Essentially, if you subscribe to them all, you’re paying for an extra one compared to last year. The constant hikes are likely to fuel the churn rates, with users ducking in and out of the services, bulk watching, before taking another hiatus.

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