Next year, you'll be able to get Showtime without a cable subscription.
Showtime's announcement comes just weeks after HBO said it was cutting the cord and would offer its own streaming service sometime next year. CBS followed one day later with the launch of CBS All Access, a $6 per month service that streams some live programming and more than 6,000 episodes of past and current shows. Home to popular shows like 'Homeland," "Dexter" and the new drama "The Affair," Showtime has in the past said it was considering a streaming service.
Networks don't want to get left behind as an increasing number of Americans, especially young Americans, choose to forgo expensive cable or satellite subscriptions and instead get their entertainment from streaming services like Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime Instant Video. The cost of cable subscriptions have gone up 97 percent over the last 14 years, not including taxes, fees or promotions, according to media researcher SNL Kagan. Options for watching video online have exploded in recent years.
"Our job is to do the best content we can and let people enjoy it in whatever way they want," Moonves told The New York Times' Emily Steel last month, after announcing CBS All Access. "The world is heading in that direction.”
Many of the details of Showtime's service, like how much it will cost and whether it will include all programming that's available to Showtime's TV subscribers, are unclear. A Showtime spokesperson would not comment beyond a statement that said the company is "always looking at ways of expanding our audience and it is certainly something that we have been examining for some time. The subscription model is ideally positioned to take advantage of developing technologies in the consumer marketplace.”
HBO has not announced a price or launch date for its own streaming service, though The Information reported that it wouldn't cost less than $15 per month, which is about how much you have to pay a cable or satellite provider to add HBO to your channel lineup.