Showtime’s standalone streaming service launches in July on Apple devices

showtime unveils 11 per month standalone streaming service for july penny dreadful
HBO has HBO Now, CBS has CBS All Access, and now Showtime has, well, Showtime. Today, the CBS-owned premium cable channel announced Showtime, a self-titled subscription streaming service that grants access to the network’s vault of original series and movies for $11 per month, without the need of a cable or satellite subscription. The service is slated to premiere in early July, and costs $4 less than its biggest rival, HBO Now.

You can thank the company’s bet on brand recognition for the confusingly plain name — Showtime execs say the brand didn’t want to stray from its image as an established purveyor of TV series and movies, hence the singular title for the network and streaming service. However, like other stand alone streaming platforms, the service itself is fairly straightforward. Subscribers will be granted access to live East and West Coast Showtime feeds of popular shows like Homeland, in addition to on-demand access to the network’s catalog of series, movies, documentaries, and sports.

Following the example set by HBO Now, Showtime will premiere semi-exclusively on Apple devices, including the Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, for an unspecified number of weeks before landing on other platforms. However, the service will also be available via Showtime’s website. The service goes live on Sunday, July 12, and new customers who sign up on Apple devices get service free for 30 days.

“Across CBS, we are constantly finding new ways to monetize our programming by capitalizing on opportunities presented by technology,” said CBS Corporation President and CEO Leslie Moonves. “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. Going over-the-top means Showtime will be much more accessible to tens of millions of potential new subscribers.”

“Accessibility” and “exclusivity” are hard to reconcile, but Showtime’s decision to partner with Apple is probably a sensible one. CBS has a working relationship with Apple — Moonves said at Re/code’s Code Conference last week that the company is part of the “ongoing conversation” around Apple’s rumored TV service. And the strategy seemed to work well for HBO; the pared-down number of devices gave HBO time to fine-tune its streaming tech for HBO Now. The service managed to stream the Game of Thrones premiere without a hitch (unlike Dish Network’s Sling TV service) yet exposed HBO Now to a relatively large audience of users of Apple’s premium products.

Showtime may not be the first outfit to offer non-cable subscribers its content via the web, but undercutting the price of HBO Now by almost $50 per year could be just be enough to convince some cord cutters to pony up for “Homeland,” “Penny Dreadful,” and “Twin Peaks,” the latter of which will return with new episodes on Showtime in 2016. But HBO’s response could be swift — the network recently surveyed users about offering cheaper plans. An HBO representative told TechCrunch that the survey questions “should never be interpreted as suggesting a strategic direction,” but that may change if Showtime gains ground.

Movies & TV

More cast members join Jordan Peele’s ‘The Twilight Zone’ reboot

Get Out writer and director Jordan Peele is developing and hosting a reboot of the classic sci-fi anthology series The Twilight Zone for CBS All Access, and the cast for the first season is filling out with some familiar faces.
Movies & TV

How to watch NFL games online, with or without cable

The NFL's 2018 season is here, and we know you don't want to miss a moment of the action. Our comprehensive streaming guide will show you all the best options to watch the games online so you can make the right choice.
Home Theater

Google Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra: Everything you need to know

Google's Chromecast plugs into your TV's HDMI port, allowing you to stream content from your tablet, laptop, or smartphone directly to your TV. Here's what you need to know about all iterations, including the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra.
Home Theater

PlayStation Vue adds more local channels, bringing the total to over 600

PlayStation Vue is Sony's answer to live TV without the need for a cable or satellite TV subscription. To help you understand the service, its plans, and numerous features, we've created this handy guide.
Home Theater

What is MHL, exactly, and how does it work with your TV?

There are more ways to mirror your smartphone or tablet to your TV than you might think. Check out our rundown of MHL for everything you need to know about the wired protocol and its myriad uses.
DT Daily

DT Daily: Waymo’s driverless cars, ‘Fallout 76’ tips, and Racella

In today's episode of DT Daily, we discuss Waymo's foray into the ridesharing sector, along with various tips for making the most of the recently launched Fallout 76. We also sit down with singer Racella to chat about her new EP, Waves.

All the best Amazon Black Friday deals for 2018

Amazon may be an online-only retailer, but that doesn’t mean its Black Friday sales are anything to sniff at. In fact, due to its online status, Amazon has huge flexibility with the range of products and deals it can offer. Here's our…
Home Theater

A recent Twitter leak may show the upcoming AirPods 2 model

Apple plans to release new AirPods much the same as it does new iPhones, and a wireless charging case, water resistance, and better Siri integration are among the improvements we can expect in future models.

The best movie soundtracks of all time, from 'Star Wars' to 'E.T.'

Whether you're a lover of beautifully composed original scores or a fan of perfectly compiled popular music, these are the best movie soundtracks of all time — from Star Wars to Garden State.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.

How to convert and play FLAC music files on your iPhone or iPad

The high-resolution revolution is upon us, and FLAC files are a popular way to store hi-res sound. But what if you’re an iOS user? Check out our article to find out more about FLAC files, and how to use them on Apple devices.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our 10 favorites.
Home Theater

Put your home theater to the test with these spectacular Blu-ray releases

What's the point of having all of that awesome home theater gear if you can't breed a little jealousy in your friends and family? We've put together this list of fantastic Blu-rays that have the goods to drop a few jaws.