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HBO Max's ad-free monthly subscription is increasing by $1

HBO Max is raising the price of its ad-free monthly subscription in the U.S. from $14.99 to $15.99 plus applicable taxes, effective immediately for new subscribers. The change marks the first time that HBO Max has increased the price of its service since launching in May 2020.

"Existing subscribers who are currently paying $14.99/month will see their monthly rate increase to $15.99 effective their next billing cycle on or after Saturday, February 11, 2023," the company said in a statement. "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."

The cost of the HBO Max's ad-supported tier will remain unchanged at $9.99 per month.

The price hike comes a few days before the debut of HBO Max's highly anticipated "The Last of Us" TV adaptation on January 15. The launch of the TV show is seen as a way for HBO Max to convince fans of the popular game to subscribe to the streaming service.

It's an odd time for HBO Max to introduce a price hike, given that it has been removing several titles from its service over the past few months. Last month, the company confirmed that it will be moving over 10 HBO Max original series to third-party free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) services. These titles include “Westworld,” “The Nevers,” “Raised by Wolves,” “FBOY Island,” “Legendary,” “Finding Magic Mike,” “Head of the Class,” “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” “Gordita Chronicles,” “Love Life,” “Made for Love, “The Garcias” and “Minx.”

Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav recently said that it will be hard to meet the company’s 2023 earnings forecast of $12 billion. The price increased announced today could be a way for the company to lessen the blow.