Another victory for the cord-cutters. Showtime’s standalone streaming service has been a long time in coming, and today the premium network announced that it will be partnering with Hulu to distribute that service, presumably to tap into Hulu’s already steady consumer share (which currently numbers close to nine million subscribers).
So, (according to Vulture’s Joe Adalian, as this wasn’t in the press release) Hulu subscribers will be able to add Showtime for $8.99, $2 less than via Apple. That means the total cost for a Hulu + Showtime subscription would be $16.98. And, apparently, the Showtime content streamed via Hulu will not feature any ads (one of the major complaints about Hulu by subscribers).
All of this will be available prior to the July 12th Season 3 premieres of two of Showtime’s biggest series, Ray Donovan and Masters of Sex. Further, Showtime will allow subscribers to watch their east and west coast feeds live via Hulu, which means you won’t have to wait until midnight or the next day to catch up with what everyone else is talking about (which should be Penny Dreadful, always). Plus, like HBO Now, subscribers will also get access to all of Showtime’s back catalogue of original series, documentaries, sports programming, and movies.
Matthew C. Blank, Chairman and CEO of Showtime said of the deal,
We’re excited to be the first premium service available to Hulu’s growing subscriber base and look forward to offering their customers our award-winning original programming, films and documentaries across almost every device. Hulu is an important launch partner for SHOWTIME as we continue to expand our service across new platforms and distributors, reaching new consumers wherever a broadband connection is available.
While Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins added,
We are always looking to give our subscribers access to the best content available. The robust slate of SHOWTIME original programming, movies, and specials together with Hulu’s strength in current season programming, library acquisitions and original programming makes a powerful combination.
If Showtime is more or less chasing HBO along the premium landscape, it’s also fair to say that Hulu has been trying to catch up to Netflix among the streaming platformers. Hulu has made a big push recently to cultivate more original content, and also to beef up its back catalogue of acquisitions. The Showtime/Hulu partnership may be the perfect way to connect these two companies in a way that positively affects them both. And for those looking to cut the cost of cable, it’s also could be a great way to bundle online content into a more affordable, single option. What say you, readers? Will you be adding Showtime to your Hulu account, or is it making you more willing to subscribe to Hulu in the first place?