Not one to be outdone by HBO, SHOWTIME on Wednesday officially announced its own standalone streaming service. And it’s exactly what you think it is. You won’t need a stuffy cable contract in order to watch your favorite shows. Going forward, you’ll be able to access the premium channel’s library either over the Internet or through Apple devices (yes, similar to HBO Now’s original exclusivity agreement) with other platforms “coming soon.”
The service, which is simply being called SHOWTIME, will be available in July, and give folks unfettered access to the channel’s catalog for just $10.99 per month—that undercuts HBO Now’s $14.99 fee. So, yeah, SHOWTIME is trying to make a statement right out of the gates. Now it’s just a matter of getting people to actually subscribe.
SHOWTIME is at a disadvantage right now because not only did HBO launch its standalone service first, but it did so to coincide with Game of Thrones, which is one of the hottest shows on TV right now. SHOWTIME doesn’t exactly have a “system seller,” so to speak, though it offers a lot of great content
The service is going to launch when Ray Donovan and Masters of Sex return on Sunday, July 12, which is a little over a month away. If you ask me, SHOWTIME’s best show right now is Penny Dreadful; I haven’t yet had a chance to watch many of the channel’s other shows, other than Shameless, which is absolutely bonkers.
The other problem I foresee right now is cost. Although it’s cheaper than HBO Now, cord cutters are (likely) already paying for services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, and more, and this is just another additional cost every month. That might not be an issue for some, but it certainly adds up over the months.
Are you going to sign up?