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HBO Max rolls out in Europe as subscription-only platform


By Hannah Bowler, Senior reporter

October 5, 2021 | 3 min read

WarnerMedia’s fledgling streamer HBO Max is to roll out across 27 European territories as a subscription-based product.

HBO Max lands as an SVoD product in 27 European territories

HBO Max is to land as an SVoD product in 27 European territories

The US conglomerate has opted against launching an ad-funded alternative in Europe and has instead carved out monthly and annual packages bespoke to each territory.

The service, which features the likes of Game of Thrones, Sex and the City and The Sopranos, lands in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Spain and Andorra on October 26.

HBO Max’s Europe offering gives subscribers access to WarnerMedia’s back catalog including shows from HBO, DC, Cartoon Network and its growing slate of original programming. New Warner Bros film releases will also be made available 45 days after theatrical release.

An ad-funded version of HBO Max was rolled out in the US in June, a year after the initial subscription-based product was launched. HBO Max’s AVoD alternative is priced at $9.99 per month – $5 cheaper than the ad-free version.

In the US, HBO Max offers advertisers a ‘brand block’ where brands can own a block of content, a function to pause adverts for consumer engagement and branding opportunities when users search content.

HBO Max’s US AVoD alternative follows NBCUniversal’s Peacock and ViacomCBS’s streamer Paramount+, which both launched with ad-funded options.

WarnerMedia has no plans for an AVoD European service, focusing all its energy on new territory SVoD launches.

Expansion plans

After the initial roll-out, Central Europe, Eastern Europe and Portugal will get access in early 2022 followed by the Netherlands, Turkey, Greece, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – taking the total to 27.

The UK isn’t among HBO Max’s initial European roll-out.

There are questions over when or if HBO Max will hit the UK due to existing content deals. The UK already has access to a swathe of WarnerMedia programming through the Sky-HBO content deal and an acquisitions partnership with the BBC, which gives UK viewers access to HBO Max originals including Starstruck and Love Life.

In the Nordics and Spain, HBO Max will be available for a reduced annual subscription of 12 months for the price of eight.

HBO Max has already launched in Latin America and the Caribbean. WarnerMedia is planning to reach 190 countries by 2026. The European expansion takes the total to 67 territories.

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