Cricket gives HBO Max with ads to unlimited wireless subs

Cricket Wireless, a prepaid brand owned by AT&T, will now offer the ad-supported tier of HBO Max for free to its new and existing $60/month unlimited plan customers.

Existing HBO Max customers who are on Cricket’s $60 unlimited plan can use their Cricket Wireless credentials to start getting HBO Max with ads for no additional cost. New and other existing customers can get or upgrade to the $60/month plan to get the ad-supported tier of HBO Max.

“Since launching HBO Max last year, we’ve continually expanded customers’ access to the product, and partnering with Cricket, our first prepaid wireless distributor of the streaming platform, is a great opportunity to offer millions of customers instant access to HBO Max at no cost to them,” said Jennifer Mirgorod, head of partner management and partner marketing at WarnerMedia, in a statement.

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In June, AT&T launched the ad-supported HBO Max for $9.99 per month, $5 less than a standard ad-free HBO Max subscription. In exchange for the lower cost, HBO Max with ads subscribers don’t get access to 4K video since resolution is capped at 1080p. Ad-supported subscribers also can’t download content for offline viewing.

The new deal from Cricket extends the HBO Max promotional access that AT&T was already including with several of its unlimited post-paid wireless plans.

During the StreamTV Ad Summit earlier this week, Julian Franco, the senior executive in charge or product management at HBO Max with ads, said that the service has so far received positive feedback from consumers, likely due in part to ad time being capped at four minutes per hour. He said that WarnerMedia picked the four-minute mark based on reviews of platform engagement data that suggested "we would get around four minutes [of engagement] per hour if we delivered the delightful ad experience that we are committed to…I can say that we've been well, well below [four minutes per hour] since launch, which is really exciting for the customers.”