Showtime launches standalone streaming service a bit early

Showtime has debuted its standalone OTT service, eponymously named Showtime, a few days early of its previously stated July 12 target launch date.

The streaming service, which doesn't require a pay-TV subscription, costs consumers $10.99 a month and can be viewed on iOS and Android mobile devices and Roku streaming devices. The service is also sold through Hulu and Sony's PlayStation Vue OTT service. 

The launch of the service coincides with the debuts of anticipated Showtime series premiers of Ray Donovan and Masters of Sex

CBS Corp.'s decision to enter Showtime into the OTT market follows the unexpected stand-alone debut of HBO Now last October, which kicked off a flurry of similar announcements by programmers.

Besides popular premium channels HBO and Showtime, a number of other cable channels have launched SVOD services. Most recently, A+E Networks launched Lifetime Movie Club, and AMC Networks is currently testing the horror-themed Shudder. 

All of these services are targeted to a growing number of U.S. consumers who subscribe to broadband but not pay-TV. 

Interestingly, Time Warner Inc. had been under some investor pressure to spin off a stand-alone version of one of its most profitable asset, HBO. Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes and the company board were able to resist an $80 billion takeover attempt by Rupert Murdoch and 21st Century Fox. But the price they had to pay with their investors was to debut HBO as a stand-alone OTT service earlier than most industry watchers anticipated. 

For more:
- read this Showtime press release

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A+E Networks launches $3.99-a-month SVOD service for Lifetime movies
Price war? Showtime joins forces with Hulu as premium SVOD competition heats up
AMC beta testing horror-themed SVOD service Shudder