AT&T plans to include HBO Max for free at launch for 10M current subscribers

If you already have HBO and are an AT&T user you may get HBO Max for free next year.

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Eli Blumenthal is a senior editor at CNET with a particular focus on covering the latest in the ever-changing worlds of telecom, streaming and sports. He previously worked as a technology reporter at USA Today.
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Eli Blumenthal
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AT&T will include HBO Max for 10 million customers who already get HBO. 

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As it gears up for its spring 2020 launch, more details are finally starting to come out about AT&T's forthcoming HBO Max service. While we still don't have all the details on what will be on the new HBO-centered service -- that will likely need to wait until AT&T's WarnerMedia investor day on Oct. 29 -- a new report is giving us some additional info ahead of the event. 

In an interview with Reuters, AT&T Chief Operating Officer John Stankey revealed that the company will be offering the service for free to 10 million of its current subscribers in the US who already pay for HBO. According to the report, this includes AT&T wireless users (who can add HBO with certain unlimited plans) as well those with a traditional TV service like DirecTV. 

No information was given on how long the free offering would last or if it would replace the current HBO subscriptions those users pay for. AT&T did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

There is currently no price for HBO Max, which AT&T hopes will reach 80 million subscribers by 2025, with 50 million in the US according to the report. While expected to be pricier than the $14.99 per month that HBO currently costs, Reuters also notes that AT&T plans to launch a cheaper, ad-supported service in 2021. 

In addition to offering a host of content that AT&T already owns through its Time Warner purchase, such as Friends. the company is developing a slew of new shows and movies for the service, with plans to offer live programming in the future as well. 

Whether the bundling of the service will help it build momentum remains to be seen, but in taking that path the company is not alone. 

Netflix is already included with certain T-Mobile and cable plans, Sprint offers Hulu on some of its plans, Apple will include a year of its upcoming TV Plus with the purchase of a new device and Verizon will offer the new Disney Plus for free for a year to certain wireless subscribers.