- Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) unveiled a suite of advertising solutions for its ad-supported tier of Max ahead of its May 23 launch, according to a press release. The announcement was made during the company’s upfront presentation at Madison Square Garden on May 17.
- The platform’s advertising features are meant to draw on the best of both platforms Max is based on, HBO Max and Discovery+, and are optimized for reach, reward and interaction. The ad-supported tier of Max will be available for $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year.
- The roll out of ad options for its forthcoming Max platform was a key part of WBD’s upfront presentation, as brands and agencies prepare to buy ads on the latest entrant to the ad-supported streaming space.
WBD is preparing for the launch of its new streaming platform by informing brands and agencies of the wide-ranging options available to them. Max is the latest player in the ad-supported streaming space, a strategy which has become increasingly popular in the crowded category as consumers face subscription fatigue. The new service combines HBO Max and Discovery+ to expand its content offering and consumer base.
“Max provides advertisers with innovative ad products and access to the most premium brands and content in the video industry, while also rewarding our customers with one of the lightest ad loads in streaming, an incredible win-win,” said JB Perrette, president and CEO, global streaming and games at WBD, in the press release. “We rely on data and tech, along with a long history of expertise in advertising to serve innovative and non-traditional ads to targeted adult audiences in ways that minimize disruption to storytelling.”
With focuses on reach, reward and interaction, each category comes with a range of options. Tools to help marketers with reach include traditional, 15-second pre-roll video ads. Mid-roll options will also be available, as 15- and 30-second options, as part of a larger 30-second to 60-second ad pod. Advertisers will also have the option to perform a takeover, making theirs the first ad all users see on the platform for a day, as well as the ownership of the first pre-roll and mid-roll ad of a users stream.
WBD is also granting marketers the ability to reward consumers who watch ads in exchange for fewer interruptions. The Brand Block format will allow one brand to own every ad within a piece of content. The InFront tool takes that a step further, allowing the consumer to eliminate all mid-roll advertising, if the viewer chooses to watch ads before playback begins.
Interaction is the third major component of Max’s ad offering. The platform is equipped with Pause Ads, a static ad that appears on the screen when content is paused. Additionally, during mid-roll, consumers will be able to interact with an ad in a variety of ways. These include a one-click reveal option which shows the consumer a surprise message, promotion or trivia question when clicked. Carousel ads will allow brands to showcase multiple products and extendable branded hubs will allow consumers to further interact with the brand. Lastly, a locator function will encourage in-store purchases by informing viewers where they can purchase the product nearby. Interactive ads could increase engagement, especially for consumers used to the ad-free experience of other streaming services.
The launch of Max comes after months of anticipation and speculation on the part of marketers and consumers alike. As the streaming space becomes increasingly crowded and consumers look to scale back spending, ad-supported options have become increasingly popular to retain viewers while also generating additional revenue for media companies.