Ad-supported, lower cost streaming is the newest industry trend - The UpStream

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Ad-supported, lower cost streaming is the newest industry trend

posted Saturday Jun 5, 2021 by Scott Ertz

In the early days of video streaming services, ad-supported content was everywhere. Hulu offered an entirely free tier that had a smaller catalog and ads, plus a paid tier that offered all of the content with ads. But, the success of Netflix's entirely ad-free offering pushed new services to focus on that model. But, in recent months, we've seen more services give it a shot, with Paramount+ and HBO Max adding a focus on this business model this week.

Paramount+

The former CBS All-Access (which was a terrible name), has offered a lower cost plan since its rebrand. But, the plan was still a bit too expensive for the cost-conscious customer who would be looking at the ad-supported offering. To offset this issue, the company has announced that it will be removing one of the service's unique features in order to reduce the price.

Unlike most of the other streaming services, Paramount+ offers live TV as part of your subscription. That is a nice addition, but it comes at a cost. So, the company will be removing live CBS content from the ad-supported tier, which will not be known as Paramount+ Essential, and will reduce the price to $4.99 per month. This $1 price drop will go into effect on June 7, 2021, and will not affect current subscribers unless you choose to make the change.

HBO Max

Since HBO Max became the flagship streaming service for WarnerMedia, the company has struggled to get its subscriber base to grow. They have made new releases available, had specials like the Friends reunion, and more. But, they still had to contend with the price problem - $14.99 was not palatable to some people.

Now, HBO Max is finally launching a less expensive subscription option, and it includes ads. Similar to Paramount+ and Peacock, subscribers who chose the ad-supported option will save $5 per month. That is a significant price reduction and could finally attract users who had been skipping the service in the past.

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