Showtime has finally officially launched its own standalone streaming service. When announcing the streaming service last month, Showtime had kept the actual date of its launch under wraps, only indicating that it would be available before 12th July 2015.
People in the United States can now access the new streaming service through the Showtime app which is available on Roku TVs, Roku players, Apple TV, iPad, iPod touch and iPhone, Showtime.com, PlayStation Vue and all devices running iOS 7.0 or later for $10.99 per month.
The Showtime app features AirPlay support and the ability to watch both Showtime West and East live, including all the new episodes when they premiere. It also includes on demand access to past TV shows and enables users to resume watching where they left off across various devices. It also features a list option that users can use to keep track of their favorite shows. Unlike the Showtime Anytime app, Showtime’s new app does not require users to have a cable subscription, for them to access the network’s entire catalogue of content.
Additionally, Hulu Plus subscribers can access the new streaming service through Hulu and watch Showtime’s programming on the Hulu app for Apple iOS and Google Android tablets and smartphones, streaming sticks and media players, Smart TVs, game consoles, and other devices that support Hulu Plus, they can add Showtime at a discounted rate of $8.99 per month, on top of Hulu’s $7.99 monthly fee.
Showtime is currently offering a 30 day free trial of its new streaming service that enables users to watch movies and shows and an ad free environment, access to the network’s sports events and back catalog.
The Showtime standalone over-the-top option or OTT platform enables users to subscribe to the new standalone streaming service without requiring a satellite contract or traditional cable, giving cord cutting customers access to on-demand content, live feeds and all of the network’s popular shows, movies, comedy specials, sports and documentaries.
The OTT option comes at a time when media companies are scrambling for the younger clients and the people who live in the over 10 million homes in United States that pay for only broadband Internet-access without a cable package. Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), which is owned by CBS Corporation, is going to great lengths to make sure that the stand alone streaming service taps into a wider audience. Showtime’s deal with Hulu is the first deal that Hulu has made to showcase a premium-cable channel. The deal will enable Showtime to tap into Hulu’s already steady consumer share that currently consists of close to 9 million subscribers.
The CBS Chief Executive Officer and President, Leslie Moonves has said that going over-the-top means that Showtime will be more accessible to millions of new potential subscribers. Last year CBS started an online service for its network, which is called CBS All Access and it had promised to do the same for Showtime.
The new standalone streaming service marks the first-time that Showtime’s programming is being provided directly to the consumers without a pay -TV package being provided by a satellite or cable TV operator.