Showtime's New Streaming Service Coming to Roku, PlayStation Vue
The cable net recently announced the launch of its stand-alone streaming service, with Apple as its first partner.
Showtime's new streaming service will be available on more than just Apple devices when it launches this July.
Showtime has pacted with Roku to make the $10.99 per month app available on Roku players and Roku TV models. Meanwhile, Sony Network Entertainment International will include the Showtime streaming app on cloud-based TV service PlayStation Vue.
Showtime announced the launch of the app — also called Showtime — last week, with Apple as its first partner. But executives said that Apple would not have exclusivity and more partners would follow. All three of Showtime's partners will launch the new service on the same day ahead of the July 12 premieres of Ray Donovan and Masters of Sex.
"We feel strong about both these brands," Showtime Networks CEO Matthew Blank tells The Hollywood Reporter. "Roku is a very popular service and the PlayStation community is huge. There's a real opportunity for us."
Signing up for Showtime on Roku devices or through PlayStation Vue will work similarly to the signup process via Apple devices. Roku owners can sign up through the Showtime app on their set-top boxes or TVs, and PlayStation Vue customers can subscribe through the service. Roku and Apple customers who sign up in July will be offered a free 30-day trial.
Showtime says the new service will give customers live East Coast and West Coast feeds in addition to on-demand access to every Showtime original series, including Homeland, Shameless and Nurse Jackie. Showtime will also offer customers access to its library of movies, documentaries and sports programming.
"Showtime has been a great partner over the years, and Roku's inclusion as an initial launch platform for the Showtime streaming service speaks volumes to our shared commitment to offer consumers the best entertainment experience available," said Steve Shannon, general manager of content and services at Roku. Added PlayStation Vue head Dwayne Benefield: "We can't think of a better partner with whom we can begin to extend our revolutionary television experience to a nationwide audience."
Showtime's launch on multiple platforms will help to set it apart from competitor HBO Now, which launched in April with Apple as its exclusive digital partner. HBO Now, which is also available to Cablevision Optimum subscribers, has since announced plans to come to Android devices this summer.
"Part of our strategy is to be available in as many important places as consumers are going to," explains Blank. "We want to make this product something that any broadband user can easily reach."
Blank adds that Showtime will continue to sign on new partners ahead of the service's mid-July launch. "It's a great time of year for us to be launching," he says. "Ray Donovan and Masters of Sex are two really strong shows for us and we'll move right into the fall with Homeland and The Affair."
Much has been made of Showtime's $10.99 price point, $4 cheaper than HBO Now but $3 more than Netflix. Blank says that price was determined based on Showtime's existing subscription business. "We looked at our current subscribing universe and, generally, consumers think they're spending about $10 or $11 for Showtime in the mix of their cable package," he says. "That's a price that should be attractive to potential users."