We’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times, and we’ll probably say it again tomorrow. Every day streamers are complicating lives for their subscribers in a bid to increase their bottom line. So far, we’ve seen streaming price increases, password-sharing crackdowns, and ad tiers by the fistful. But now, a new shadow looms over the streaming landscape, and that’s feature reductions. It doesn’t have quite the impact of asking a user to pay more money. But in some ways, this shift feels more menacing. In a new chessboard move, Max recently began letting its legacy ad-free subscribers know that if they didn’t shift to a more expensive plan, they’d soon lose access to some features. Specifically, Max shared that users who subscribed to its standard ad-free plan would no longer have access to 4K titles and would be able to concurrently stream Max on one less device.
Per Variety, Max noted the following in an email, “On your next billing date, on or after December 5, 2023, the price of your subscription will stay the same, but some of your plan features will change… You can still stream all your favorite blockbuster movies, fresh originals and iconic series. Or even switch to the Ultimate Ad-Free plan to unlock more features.”
No price change sounds nice in theory, but subscription features “changing” isn’t actually much better. Because, of course, by changing Max really means some features of a subscriber’s plan will be removed. For Max legacy users subscribed to the standard ad-free plan, currently priced at $15.99/month, this means losing some useful aspects of their subscription. A subscription which will still cost a chunk of change. Namely, subscribers will no longer be able to watch 4K Ultra HD movies or TV shows on Max. Additionally, Max will also remove one concurrent stream from the standard ad-free plan. Previously users could stream Max on three devices at one time, and now they will only be able to stream on two. For now, the amount of titles a user can download on this Max subscription plan (30) remains unchanged.
To unlock these features once again, Max suggests upgrading to its Ultimate Ad-Free plan. This plan will return the 4K Ultra HD video quality to the table, as well as Dolby Atmos audio quality. It will also allow a user to concurrently stream Max on up to four devices. Of course, this shift does come with a price increase. Max’s Ultimate Ad-Free plan costs $19.99. And while that doesn’t seem like much overall, we expect this isn’t the last time we’ll see features being removed from a plan in the hopes of driving users to a more expensive one.