Following in the footsteps of HBO and making a big to-do about nothing, Showtime, the network you really only subscribed to for Dexter (…and maybe Homeland), announced today the launch of their HBO Now-like standalone service in July, simply called – wait for it… – Showtime.
What Showtime the Showtime (the name for the service that we’ve made up for free) didn’t spend on marketing to come up with a clever three-letter name like HBO Now (it’s safe to assume “Showtime Ass” was pitched at least once for a variety of metaphorical reasons at some point but was rejected) is being used to pass savings on to the glorious cord-cutting 6% of U.S. households that don’t already subscribe to cable or satellite television services giving them the pleasure to pay $10.99 ONLY for an app that is accessible for free with a Showtime (not to be confused with Showtime the Showtime) cable/satellite subscription along with a dozen other Showtime channels included for roughly the same price in a cable or satellite subscription… waitaminute… let’s walk that back a bit.
Like with HBO Now, the only cord-cutters that will be able to pay more to get less will be Apple device owners (right now). Come to think of it, “paying more to get less” perfectly describes Apple device owners regardless of these standalone services.
Confused? Well, allow us to set you straight.
These standalone apps are a sham and have very little impact on 94% of the television viewing audience who already subscribe to cable or satellite. Why? Well, this is why…
The Internet-based cord-cutting warriors have convinced themselves and their followers that these standalone services exist based as a reaction to the premise that people hate their cable/satellite provider sooooooooo much and want a la carte programming options sooooooooo badly because they’re sick of paying for channels they don’t watch that they can’t wait for an opportunity to cancel their subscriptions so they can subscribe to a HBO (or… Showtime… we guess).
And there’s the fallacy. NO ONE is subscribing to cable/satellite for the privilege of then paying an additional fee to subscribe to premium channels. They may not care for HGTV but they DO watch other networks and they didn’t just subscribe to cable just to watch flipping Game of Thrones! Anyone who claims that this is the case and that these services are designed with that in mind is just completely full of crap. They are designed to do exactly what has been alluded to multiple times here: tap into the 6% of the audience that doesn’t subscribe to cable/satellite.
Forget all the hype, forget all of the dire predictions from re: the demise of cable/satellite because of these standalone apps from financial news outlets that really should know better, this nonsense isn’t about taking down cable with a cord-cutting revolution, it’s about getting to customers who never had a cord to begin with (or did but cut it beforehand). It’s a tiny sliver of the market that has no impact on cable/satellite providers. It’s not about them, it’s about competing with Netflix… duh.
From The Street:
HBO CEO Richard Plepler repeatedly rejected the notion that an HBO stand-alone service will cannibalize pay-TV. The decision to go “over-the-top,” the industry term for set-top boxes that stream video to the television, Plepler said, is all about going after the 10 million U.S. homes that have an Internet connection but don’t subscribe to pay-TV. It’s about going after the additional 70 million homes that get pay TV but don’t get HBO.
Dopey trailer and press release below…
Via Press Release…
SHOWTIME® TO OFFER STAND-ALONE SERVICE OVER THE INTERNET
Service To Launch In Early July To Apple® Customers
NEW YORK – June 3, 2015 – For the first time ever, SHOWTIME will be offered over the internet as a stand-alone streaming service launching in early July, with Apple as its first partner. The stand-alone service will be called SHOWTIME, a brand already embraced by consumers as the home for cutting-edge original programming, sports and movies. The launch of SHOWTIME will coincide with the new seasons of the critically-acclaimed, hit series RAY DONOVAN and MASTERS OF SEX, premiering on Sunday, July 12th.
iPhone®, iPad®, iPod touch® and Apple TV® users will be able to subscribe to SHOWTIME as a stand-alone service on the SHOWTIME app anywhere in the U.S., for one monthly price ($10.99) to view on all Apple devices. To learn more about SHOWTIME, watch and share: http://s.sho.com/1FTryf8. Additional platforms and providers will be announced soon. The announcement was made today by Leslie Moonves, CBS Corporation’s President and Chief Executive Officer, and Matthew C. Blank, Chairman and CEO, Showtime Networks Inc.
“Going over-the-top means Showtime will be much more accessible to tens of millions of potential new subscribers,” said Moonves. “Across CBS, we are constantly finding new ways to monetize our programming by capitalizing on opportunities presented by technology. 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.”
“At Showtime, we’re excited to offer consumers the opportunity to subscribe in new ways, by simply having an internet connection,” said Blank. “Our intent is to make SHOWTIME available to viewers via every manner possible, giving them an enormous amount of choice in accessing our programming, starting with the season premieres of our award-winning series RAY DONOVAN and MASTERS OF SEX.”
“We’re excited to offer Apple customers SHOWTIME’s live channels and extensive on demand library of great TV shows and movies, without a cable or satellite subscription,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple TV customers will now be able to subscribe to SHOWTIME directly and instantly start viewing their favorite programming with the same simplicity as buying an app.”
Subscribers will have unlimited on demand access to every season of award-winning SHOWTIME original series, and hundreds of hours of movies, documentary and sports programming, as well as the live broadcast of the east and west coast feeds of SHOWTIME. Showtime will offer a 30-day free trial to new customers who sign up through Apple in July. Apple users simply need to go to the SHOWTIME app on their device to sign up and create a SHOWTIME account. Subscribers can use their SHOWTIME account to watch the service across all supported devices, as well as online at www.showtime.com.
Showtime and its acclaimed original programming continues to make its mark on the cultural landscape. The network is home to one of the most successful programming line-ups in all of television, with hits that include HOMELAND, RAY DONOVAN, THE AFFAIR, MASTERS OF SEX, PENNY DREADFUL, SHAMELESS, HOUSE OF LIES, NURSE JACKIE, HAPPYish, EPISODES, and the anticipated new series BILLIONS and the limited series TWIN PEAKS. Original series play a key part in the network’s programming mix, along with box office hits, comedy and music specials, provocative documentaries, and hard-hitting sports programming, including the flagship franchise SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® and the news magazine programs 60 MINUTES SPORTS and JIM ROME ON SHOWTIME. The network’s diverse slate of films includes Boyhood, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Philomena,St. Vincent, The Imitation Game and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.