Showtime’s self-titled on-demand streaming service will launch next month for $11 per month, but the service will be $2 cheaper as an add-on for Hulu’s paying subscribers. Showtime’s over-the-top subscription streaming service is the first of its kind to be available as a paid add-on for Hulu, but the deal could foreshadow a similar model for other premium networks on Hulu, and possibly other streaming services.
The new plan means that Hulu subscribers who opt in for Showtime will pay a total of $17 per month. Hulu said it will be covering the cost of the $2 discount, according to a Re/code report. The Netflix competitor hopes that this discounted bundle will convince more people to subscribe to Hulu’s paid tier, the only major subscription streaming service that also serves up commercials.
“What we’re basically figuring is that by adding these two services together, we think that consumers are entitled to a discount,” said Hulu exec Tim Connolly to Re/code. “We really wanted to be aggressive coming out of the gate. We’re interested in selling Showtime, but we’re more interested in selling Showtime and Hulu together.”
Hulu subscribers who opt for the package will have on-demand access to Showtime’s catalog of original series, movies, documentaries and sports, along with live East and West Coast streams of popular shows like Homeland, all without the need for a cable or satellite subscription. The launch of the packaged deal with Hulu will coincide with the individual launch of Showtime’s stand-alone service, slated to land ahead of the July 12 premieres of Showtime original series Ray Donovan and Masters of Sex.
Showtime hopes that the partnership with Hulu will expand the premium cable network’s subscription numbers. Showtime currently has 22.8 million paid cable subscribers, flagging behind both HBO (31.4 million) and Starz (23.3 million). Hulu’s $8 per month subscription service currently boasts 9 million subscribers.
Claiming that 7 million of the 9 million subscribers to Hulu’s subscription service also have pay-TV subscriptions, Connolly expects that the bundle’s initial target will be those two million people who don’t have cable or satellite TV.