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Max announces Black Friday offer for new subscribers

Warner Bros. Discovery’s (WBD) Max is offering new subscribers 70% off it's ad-supported plan for the the first 6 months. The Black Friday deal takes the monthly cost down to $2.99/month.

Yahoo Finance’s Josh Schafer, Alexandra Canal, and Pras Subramanian weigh in on this offering and deep dive into whether other streamers would consider this as well.

For more expert insight and the latest market action, click here to watch this full episode of Yahoo Finance Live.

Video Transcript

JOSH SCHAFER: All right, I want to take a look at one of Bob Iger's competitors because I love this idea coming out for Black Friday, right? So when you take a look at this story coming out of Max today, Max is going to be offering a Black Friday deal, 70% off for the first six months. Really a big story for Warner Brothers Discovery here to try and get more subscribers in, right?

So you go from a price of $9.99 to $2.99. This is one of the first Black Friday deals I can remember in streaming as a whole. I don't know if any other come to mind for you, Allie. But this sort of sticks out as an interesting moment in the business when we really think about, to me, 2023, the streaming story has been a lot about price increases and a lot about trying to get people to pay more. Well, now, Max saying we just want--

ALLIE CANAL: Password crackdowns.

JOSH SCHAFER: Yeah, and we just want to get you on the platform, actually, and then you're going to love it so much that you're going to pay full price in six months. But I love them getting into Black Friday. I think it's a great idea.

ALLIE CANAL: I mean, 3 bucks a month? That's a pretty good deal. And it's only for six months--

JOSH SCHAFER: [INAUDIBLE] with ads, too, right?

ALLIE CANAL: With ads. So that's a big point that I want to stress, is that a lot of these streaming companies want you to sign up for their ad-supported tiers. That's why they're pricing the premium plans higher. They've been pretty much keeping those ad-supported plans stagnant across the board while raising the prices of those ad-free plans because they want to draw consumers to ad-supported. They want that to be an attractive place where ad buyers can go. And over time, the hope is, is that the technology can improve, and then this is a really quality experience for the consumer.

But if you take a look at their last earnings report, Warner Brothers, Discovery shed 700,000 subscribers. So they're really trying to get more subscribers on the platform.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Yeah, and we talked about ad loads and things like that, and they want to have that minimal ad load compared to their competitors. And I think that's a way to make it OK to have the ad-supported. I can't go ad. I can't do it.


PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: But I'm been paying for the non-ad stuff.

ALLIE CANAL: We're gonna get into an argument about this.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Paying for the non-ad stuff. I just find it so disruptive. But if-- you mentioned a different use case where you're like, I just want something on the background. I don't care if the ad comes on. I'll watch the TV. I'll pay attention to it somewhat. Who cares? I guess there's different ways to look at it, but I just for some reason, I'm like-- I got to pay-- it's got to be a huge premium for me to pay, to be like, you know, I'll watch some ads.

ALLIE CANAL: Well, three to four-minute ad load for Warner Brothers Discovery, about--

JOSH SCHAFER: For an hour.

ALLIE CANAL: --four minutes for Netflix--

JOSH SCHAFER: For an hour.

ALLIE CANAL: --per hour. I mean--

JOSH SCHAFER: People put up with it.

ALLIE CANAL: --that's not that bad. I am all about the ad-supported life.

JOSH SCHAFER: Not this guy, though.

ALLIE CANAL: If I can pay less, yeah.

JOSH SCHAFER: This guy's flying first class. He's flying first class [INAUDIBLE].

ALLIE CANAL: [INAUDIBLE]. That's what we call him.