© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Warner Bros logo is seen during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in Cannes, France, June 22, 2022. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
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(Reuters) -Warner Bros Discovery (NASDAQ:WBD) Inc is raising HBO Max’s ad-free subscription fee in the United States for the first time since the streaming service was launched in 2020, the TV network said on Thursday, sending its shares down 3%.
Prices for the platform, currently streaming shows such as “The White Lotus” and “House of the Dragon”, will rise by $1 to $15.99 plus taxes a month for U.S. subscribers.
HBO Max, which also has an ad-supported tier, faces pressure from slowing user growth and tight competition from larger rivals Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) Co’s Disney+. Netflix and Disney had also raised prices for some of their streaming services last year.
Warner Bros Discovery, formed last year by the merger of AT&T Inc (NYSE:T)’s WarnerMedia unit and Discovery Inc, is pushing for internal changes including plans to combine HBO Max and Discovery+.
The media company last month said it expected costs related to content write-offs to rise by $1 billion to as much as $3.5 billion.
It also made both HBO Max and Discovery+ available on Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s Prime Video platform in select markets.