Streaming on HBO Max will not count against your AT&T data cap, The Verge reported. Not surprisingly, the same does not apply to rival streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, or Apple TV+.
According to an AT&T executive familiar with the matter, HBO Max is using AT&T’s “sponsored data” system, which technically allows any company to pay to excuse its services from data caps. But since AT&T owns HBO Max, it’s just paying itself: the data fee shows up on the HBO Max books as an expense and on the AT&T Mobility books as revenue. For AT&T as a whole, it zeroes out. Compare that to a competitor like Netflix, which could theoretically pay AT&T for sponsored data, but it would be a pure cost. That’s why the last time we looked at AT&T’s sponsored data system, the only three streaming services we could find using it… were owned by AT&T. It’s also why sponsored data systems fly in the face of net neutrality principles.
Check It Out: HBO Max Won’t Count Against AT&T Data Caps