The price of HBO Max might be $14.99 per month.
This comes from NBC's Dylan Byers and is based on "sources with knowledge" of discussions had by WarnerMedia's John Stankey.
It's worth noting this might not be the permanent price of HBO Max, but the launch price.
HBO Max for the price of HBO
On the surface this would seem like a great deal. If you already pay for HBO, then you are already paying $14.99 per month for the pleasure. Therefore, those users will immediately gain a lot more content at no extra cost.
Likewise, new customers won't have to choose between the standard HBO subscription and paying a few dollars more for HBO Max. The choice will have already been made.
Presumably, this is exactly why WarnerMedia is considering this price point at it looks to gain as many immediate HBO Max subscribers as possible, as quickly as possible.
Where does this leave HBO?
This is the real question. WarnerMedia is positioning HBO Max as a premium version of the already premium HBO service. The problem is that if it goes in at the price suggested, it remains to be seen where the standard HBO service will sit.
It seems unrealistic to think both services will coexist in the market at the same price. What's more, it remains to be seen how many existing HBO subscribers will remain subscribers when they can switch and get more without paying more.
There has been some suggestions that WarnerMedia might make the standard HBO subscription a little cheaper to compensate. There's also been the suggestion WarnerMedia might look to partners to offer HBO through their services at a reduced rate.
What is far more likely is WarnerMedia will use this approach as a short-term solution. For example, if HBO Max launches at this price, it won't necessarily remain at that price. The report does note the grand plan is to lure customers in with the lower monthly cost and then gradually increase the price over time.
If correct, then this would allow WarnerMedia to increase the HBO Max cost and in turn, this will start to reestablish the standard HBO subscription as the more affordable option. That's without decreasing the price of the standard HBO subscription at all.
The battle with Netflix and Disney
One of the major issues WarnerMedia faces with HBO Max is luring in Netflix and Disney+ subscribers.
There's already indications consumers are becoming increasingly tired with adding new subscriptions and HBO Max comes with the added problem of being more expensive than both Netflix and Disney+.
Further compounding the problems for WarnerMedia is HBO Max is not expected to launch until long after Disney+. This latest report suggests WarnerMedia is looking at an April 2020 launch.
With these points in mind, it stands to reason WarnerMedia would want to offer HBO Max at the cheapest price it can.
Even if it does come at the cost of standard HBO in the short term.