Showtime's cable-free streaming service launches on multiple platforms

Yesterday Showtime launched its new streaming service, also called Showtime. You'll recall we first talked about it back in early June. 

The quick recap is this is a version of Showtime that requires no cable subscription and gives you both the east and west coast live Showtime feeds as well as on-demand access to Showtime series and movies from the service.

You can get Showtime as a stand-alone service on the Apple TV, iOS devices or the Roku streamers. If you get it this way it'll cost you $10.99/month (with a 30 day free trial), which is already a good deal cheaper than HBO's competing HBO Now (which is $14.99). HBO Now is also still limited to Apple hardware and a few cable providers. Look for the Showtime App for Apple devices, and the Showtime Channel for Roku.

What makes Showtime even more interesting is that you can subscribe through Hulu. You need to have a $7.99/month Hulu subscription, but if you do you save a few bucks off the Showtime subscription, which is available for $8.99 on Hulu. That also means you can access Showtime through any device with a Hulu app (that means the Xbox One, PS3 or PS4, Wii or Wii U, Chromecast, Android tablets, Amazon Fire TV and TV Stick and some smart TVs or Bluray players, in addition to the Apple TV, iOS devices and Roku). You can learn more about Showtime on Hulu at the Hulu Blog or you can sign up for a 30 day free trial. If you go this route you'll access Showtime through your Hulu app.

You can also get Showtime via Playstation Vue on the Playstation 3 or 4. Prior to today access to Vue was limited to a handful of cities, but Sony says anyone can now download the app even though they won't have access to all of Vue's channels (unless they're in the few supported cities). Showtime on Playstation Vue will be $10.99/month, unless you're a Playstation Plus member in which case it is $8.99/month. Once again you'll get a 30 day free trial to check the service out. You can read more about Showtime on Playstation Vue at the Playstation Blog

I'm really happy to see Showtime not treating non-Apple customers as second-class citizens, like HBO continues to do. In fact for many people signing up directly through an Apple device (or through a Roku) will be the worst deal. As a Playstation Plus member that $9/month Playstation Vue deal is mighty tempting, though if I get it through Hulu I can access it through a greater variety of devices, as long as I'm committed to staying subscribed to Hulu. Decisions, decisions.

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