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WarnerMedia offering HBO Max pre-order discount, but you have to subscribe directly

HBO Max officially launches at the end of this month, and we already know that you’ll be able to subscribe through Apple’s in-app purchase and Apple TC Channels platforms. WarnerMedia, however, is enticing you to subscribe directly with a lower rate.

HBO Max is one of the more expensive streaming services, coming in at $15 per month. This compares to Disney+ at $6.99, Apple TV+ at $4.99, and Netflix’s cheapest tier at $8.99.

As The Verge reports, however, HBO Max is offering a pre-order promotion where you can sign up for $11.99 per month for the first 12 months. This is billed monthly, not annually, and will renew at the full $14.99 per month after the first year.

The trick here is that you have to subscribe directly through the HBO Max website in order to secure this promotional rate — you can’t subscribe through Apple TV Channels or in-app billing in the HBO Max application.

The Verge points out a few caveats:

The new price tag is only available to “new subscribers and returning HBO Now subscribers, who sign up through HBOMax.com,” a WarnerMedia spokesperson confirmed to The Verge. A message that appears on the sign up page also seems to imply that customers who purchased HBO Now subscriptions through third party platforms, including Apple TV and Google Play, aren’t eligible for the offer.

WarnerMedia recently announced that HBO Now subscribers who use Apple TV and Google Play for their HBO payments would receive free upgrades to HBO Max, but it seems like that means the current $15-a-month plan, not the new $12-a-month offer. WarnerMedia didn’t respond to The Verge’s request for clarification.

But even if you sign up for HBO Max directly through WarnerMedia, you’ll still be able to log into the HBO Max application on your iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV, as well as through your web browser. The HBO Max app will also integrate with Apple’s TV app for features like Up Next and Watch Now.

Subscribing through Apple TV Channels does offer a few benefits, such as streaming directly in the TV app on all of your Apple devices. The video is hosted by Apple itself and all billing is managed by Apple, just like with in-app purchases.

If you plan on subscribing to HBO Max, you can secure the promotional rate on HBO’s website now. You can learn more about Apple TV Channels in our detailed roundup here and decide whether it’s worth the extra $3 per month.

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