Select YouTube TV subscribers are getting a summer of Showtime for free

Billions (Showtime)
Billions (Showtime)

Some YouTube TV customers have reportedly started to see a surprise message when they open the app or hit the YouTube TV web player, according to CordCuttersNews:

“As a longtime friend of YouTube TV, we’re giving you SHOWTIME through 9/5. Activate your offer in Settings to include it in your plan at no cost. And, no, we won’t automatically bill you after this offer ends.”

That’s not a bad deal — the cable network is normally an $11 per month add-on to the YouTube TV service, so that’s about $22 in your pocket if you started watching right away. Some will point out it’s actually more like $14, given that Showtime is currently available for a reduced $7 per month fee if you subscribe normally.

Unlike the free trials of both streaming video and music services that typically convert immediately into fully-paid subscriptions unless you cancel, the free Showtime offer appears to be opt-in on both sides of the equation: You need to opt-in to get the deal (by going into your YouTube TV settings) and you need to opt-in to keep the service after the free period, making it very much a no-risk proposition.

It’s curious that YouTube TV is only offering a free Showtime trial to its existing users, and only a select group of these users. Perhaps it’s using the promotion as a test to see how many of the offer recipients convert into paid Showtime subscribers once the trial expires, with a larger promo planned if the numbers look good. Now that YouTube TV has emerged as a nationwide competitor to SlingTV, Hulu plus Live TV, DirecTV Now, and PlayStation Vue, we’re a little surprised that the service isn’t using a free summer of Showtime as a way to lure new customers to its platform, instead of its more limited strategy of offering it only to select existing members.

Showtime has been working hard on making itself as accessible as possible to cord-cutters and cord-nevers. The service is now available via a native app on LG’s WebOS, which powers most of the company’s TVs, you can subscribe via Roku’s Roku Channel, and it’s available as an add-on via virtually every live and on-demand streaming TV service, including Amazon’s Prime Channels platform. But by far the best deal for Showtime goes to students, who can bundle Showtime, Spotify Premium, and Hulu, for just $5 per month.

We’ve reached out to YouTube TV to confirm the details of this offer and will update this article once we hear back.

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