HBO Now is no longer the only OTT premium cable service on the block. Showtime announced today it is launching its own standalone streaming service over the internet, beginning next month.
The service, which is simply called Showtime, will be available in early July—just in time for the July 12 premieres of Ray Donovan and Masters of Sex—with Apple as its first partner. For $10.99 per month, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple TV users can subscribe to the service via the Showtime app and view it across all Apple devices. Showtime said it will announce additional platforms and providers soon.
That price makes Showtime's streaming service $4 cheaper than HBO Now, HBO's standalone service, which launched in April.
"Going over-the-top means Showtime will be much more accessible to tens of millions of potential new subscribers," said Les Moonves, president and CEO, CBS Corp. "Across CBS, we are constantly finding new ways to monetize our programming by capitalizing on opportunities presented by technology. This works best when you have outstanding premium content–like we do at Showtime–and when you have a terrific partner like Apple–which continues to innovate and build upon its loyal customer base."
"At Showtime, we're excited to offer consumers the opportunity to subscribe in new ways, by simply having an internet connection," added Matthew Blank, chairman and CEO, Showtime Networks. "Our intent is to make Showtime available to viewers via every manner possible, giving them an enormous amount of choice in accessing our programming."
In April, Showtime Networks president David Nevins indicated the network was targeting either the Ray Donovan and Masters of Sex summer premieres, or the Homeland and The Affair fall premieres, as its launch date for the new service. "It's safe to say its going to be one or the other," he told Adweek.
Nevins hopes the move will open up Showtime to a whole new audience, especially millennials. "We do know that there's maybe 12 million homes that have high-speed Internet, who are not subscribers to any video packages," Nevins said in April. "And there's another, say, 75 million homes that have video packages but don't subscribe to Showtime. So we feel like there's definitely opportunities in new distribution."