HBO Max pre-order promo drops price to $12 per month for the first year

Jon Fingas
Associate Editor
BURBANK, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 29: John Stankey, President & Chief Operating Officer of AT&T and Chief Executive Officer of WarnerMedia, speaks onstage at HBO Max WarnerMedia Investor Day Presentation at Warner Bros. Studios on October 29, 2019 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Presley Ann/Getty Images for WarnerMedia)

HBO Max is taking a page out of the Disney+ playbook by offering sizeable discounts to early adopters. The streaming service is running a pre-order promotion that drops the price from $15 per month to $12 for the first year if you’re either a new subscriber or a “returning eligible” HBO Now customer. That’s less than Netflix’s standard HD plan, Variety said. However, there is a catch: you can’t just sign up wherever you intend to get service.

The discount is only available if you sign up through the HBO Max website or otherwise go directly through WarnerMedia. You can’t just go through other distributors (who already take a cut of WarnerMedia’s revenue). That shouldn’t be a problem for most people, but it’s worth noting if you were thinking of signing up through a partner.

It’s not surprising that HBO Max would tempt early adopters through a deal. This is WarnerMedia’s (and really, AT&T’s) big play at a stand-alone streaming service that can compete with the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Early commitments could both boost its initial numbers and help build buzz that helps the service compete in the long run.