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Showtime Announces Subscription-Free Streaming Plan 84

An anonymous reader writes: Following in HBO's footsteps, Showtime has announced that it is launching a stand-alone streaming service in mid-July. Simply called "Showtime," the service will launch through a partnership with Apple and costs $10.99 a month. "Going over-the-top means Showtime will be much more accessible to tens of millions of potential new subscribers," said CBS Corp. President and CEO Leslie Moonves in a statement about the deal. "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," he added.
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Showtime Announces Subscription-Free Streaming Plan

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  • Subscription-free? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by uberdilligaff ( 988232 ) on Wednesday June 03, 2015 @02:33PM (#49833677)
    How exactly is a service that you have to sign up for and costs $10.99 a month "subscription-free"?
    • by ArcadeMan ( 2766669 ) on Wednesday June 03, 2015 @02:35PM (#49833701)

      Because unlike other stupid "channels" available on AppleTV, this one doesn't require you to already be a cable TV subscriber.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Because unlike other stupid "channels" available on AppleTV, this one doesn't require you to already be a cable TV subscriber.

        You totally missed the point about "subscription-free".

    • by zlives ( 2009072 )

      i guess they mean no long term contract to subscribe to... but yeah

      • by cdrudge ( 68377 )

        No, it means you don't have to have a terrestrial or satellite cable TV subscription in order to subscribe to the streaming service.

        • To be fair, that's not what "subscription free" ("it") means, it's what the submitter almost intended to mean but used the wrong words to describe...

          Everyone calm down. The wording was shitty and wrong, and if there's something we on Slashdot don't like, it's when someone on the Internet is wrong, but we can figure out what the intent of the words were...

  • by ArcadeMan ( 2766669 ) on Wednesday June 03, 2015 @02:34PM (#49833687)

    Finally someone else who understands that limiting yourselves to already existing customers is an extremely dumb idea.

    Unfortunately, the price is too high. Netflix has already established that the price for a streaming package is around 8$ per month. Don't mention the cost of any other streaming service because most of them don't exist outside of the U.S.A., something else that Netflix understood very early in the game.

    • by unimacs ( 597299 )
      Other than their own shows and some kid stuff, there's not much in the way of good movies available on Netflix anymore. An extra $3 a month for decent movies doesn't seem like too much of a premium.
      • Other than their own shows and some kid stuff, there's not much in the way of good movies available on Netflix anymore.

        Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, Chan Wook-Park, Jim Jarmusch, Francis Ford Coppola, Richard Linklater and the Coen Brothers are all directors whose catalogs are nearly 100% available on Netflix Streaming. When you look at the back catalog, there's Orson Welles, Billy Wilder, John Ford, Howard Hawkes, King Vidor, etc etc etc.

        So when you say, "not much in the way of good movies", I assu

        • by unimacs ( 597299 )

          Other than their own shows and some kid stuff, there's not much in the way of good movies available on Netflix anymore.

          Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, Chan Wook-Park, Jim Jarmusch, Francis Ford Coppola, Richard Linklater and the Coen Brothers are all directors whose catalogs are nearly 100% available on Netflix Streaming. When you look at the back catalog, there's Orson Welles, Billy Wilder, John Ford, Howard Hawkes, King Vidor, etc etc etc.

          So when you say, "not much in the way of good movies", I assume you're talking about Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2.

          Didn't check all the directors you mentioned but for the Coen Brothers at least, the first three movies I searched for weren't available for streaming on Netflix (you could get them on DVD). Yet "Inside Llewyn Davis" (2013) is available on Showtime.

          I will concede that if you're content to watch old movies then Netflix might be just fine. You might even prefer it. I'd still be worried about their shrinking catalog however. Anyone can see that they have very few quality movies that are at all recent. And a

        • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

          If you just browse through Netflix, you can find a lot of good movies.

          If you ever go there wanting to find something specific, you will be greatly disappointed.
          Of the 19 items currently in my Netflix DVD queue, only three are available for streaming: two foreign films and an obscure documentary. In addition, I've recently been streaming Ken Burns's fantastic Civil War series. But...

          Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, Chan Wook-Park, Jim Jarmusch, Francis Ford Coppola, Richard Linklater and the Coen Brothers are all directors whose catalogs are nearly 100% available on Netflix Streaming

          Quentin Tarantino

          Tarantino's five major films are streamable. His studio must still have a deal with Netflix, because this is pretty unusual.

          Martin Scorsese

          Ava

          • Richard Linklater

            Available: Bernie, The Newton Boys, School of Rock
            Missing: Boyhood, Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight, Dazed and Confused, A Scanner Darkly, Waking Life

            I'm certain I've streamed Dazed and Confused and A Scanner Darkly.

            I think movies come and go on Netflix. There one minute, gone the next and then back again months later.

            For example, there's Bunraku, a chop socky flick. I watched it, recommended it to some friends who found that it was gone. The Aviator and Fargo were DVD onl

            • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

              I think movies come and go on Netflix. There one minute, gone the next and then back again months later.

              Exactly, because they need to sign agreements with the movie companies, and the movie companies get to demand terms. On the other hand, Netflix doesn't need any agreement to rent out whatever DVD they want. That's why the DVD catalog is fantastic, but the streaming library is horrid.

              Long ago, Disney signed an agreement with Netflix and Netflix streamed a decent amount of their movies. Well, that agreement expired, and Disney demanded far more money than Netflix could cover -- enough so that Netflix would ha

      • Not really Netflix's fault, they have to negotiate with Hollywood which is very relectant to give out rights to movies, even old ones no longer in the theaters for decades. I doubt Showtime is going to have all those old movies either, probably just the latest releases for a limited time only, same as the cable version of Showtime (which is overpriced).

        • by unimacs ( 597299 )
          But if you want to watch good movies that are at all recent, Netflix is going to leave you disappointed. Showtime is far more likely to have them. For that reason I think they can justify charging more than Netflix does.
          • True, but there's pay per view options about for various movies. I've got roku so I can just head to one of those channels. I've never done it though...

            In the past when I subscribed to a "premium" channel on cable or satellite I would unsub again after a month or two and regret it. One or two new movies and you watch them the first week, then you have 3 more weeks of nothing new at all. Whereas if I wait a year they'd show up on some of the normal channels anyway.

      • uhh, not much in the way of good movies on Netflix?
        So a lot of the disney movies or fox movies aren't good movies? So movies like avengers or Godfather are crap? Hmmm.. then I wonder what you call 'good movies' (ok avengers isn't the best, but it's a big blockbuster)..

        • by unimacs ( 597299 )
          The only "Avengers" movies I see on Netflix are the cartoon versions. So yeah, as I said before, Netflix has lots of kid centered content.

          The Godfather came out in 1972. I've seen it already.
        • ? Really?
    • by organgtool ( 966989 ) on Wednesday June 03, 2015 @02:41PM (#49833779)

      Finally someone else who understands that limiting yourselves to already existing customers is an extremely dumb idea.

      Did they, though? Now instead of being locked into a cable provider you're locked into a cable provider or the Apple ecosystem. It looks like Apple is pushing everyone who wants to do digital distribution with them into exclusivity deals. Slightly less evil than their previous tactics of price fixing but still pretty evil.

      • by oh_my_080980980 ( 773867 ) on Wednesday June 03, 2015 @02:59PM (#49833945)
        RTFA: "While only available on mobile via Apple products at launch, the company says it will announce plans to expand to other platforms and providers soon."
        • by organgtool ( 966989 ) on Wednesday June 03, 2015 @03:26PM (#49834191)
          FTFA:

          While only available on mobile via Apple products at launch, the company says it will announce plans to expand to other platforms and providers soon. That also mirrors the path that HBO took with its streaming service

          That path that HBO took was a three-month exclusive deal with Apple, so I'm deducing that Showtime has a similar deal based on the phrase "mirrors the path" in the article. I guess, if true, that isn't that bad, especially compared to the rumors of Apple trying to get content providers to avoid using other distribution channels entirely once the Apple music streaming service goes live.

        • Sheesh, every time there's an Apple thread some troll has to come and post facts.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      They're going to tie it to another dumb idea though and region lock it. Because GOD FORBID someone with a non US IP dares to want to pay a US company to watch movies. No, you little foreign fucks, we don't want your filthy money. No movies for you. (And then they turn around and bitch about piracy).
      • It seems Netflix and CrunchyRoll understood the international game very early on, as well as being wise enough to stay under 10$ per month.

        As for region lock, look up the stupidity that are Shomi [shomi.com] and CraveTV [www.bell.ca]. These idiots require a subscription with their cable/satellite services in order to get these streaming services at an extra cost. That's proof enough that the media dinosaurs need to die before any real change happens.

        • When I visited Canada I wasn't able to use my Netflix subscription since I was out of the country. Still seems pretty stupid to me.

        • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *
          I dunno, I have to use a VPN for Netflix from Panama. But Netflix doesn't seem to be picky about the VPN and lets it slide. Amazon Prime used to work, except now they've tied it to a "us based credit card" only. Hulu detects the VPN and won't stream, because everyone knows that only terrorists want to watch movies. Tell me again how region locking - which essentially turns away customers - is supposed to increase sales?
    • Netflix has already established that the price for a streaming package is around 8$ per month.

      Ah, but as of a couple days ago, Netflix is actually planning to roll out commercials [yahoo.com] . Showtime does not have commercials, so they could charge more.

    • Price is tolerable. That is actually what showtime costs me on top of my DishTV subscription. If I could get HBO, Starz, etc. in the same manner, I could in theory drop the Dish stuff and just consume the same content I normally get via the streaming service.

  • Subscription? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pretzel87 ( 2009488 ) on Wednesday June 03, 2015 @02:36PM (#49833723)
    "millions of potential new subscribers" to the subscription-free service?
    • Re:Subscription? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bobbied ( 2522392 ) on Wednesday June 03, 2015 @02:41PM (#49833783)

      "millions of potential new subscribers" to the subscription-free service?

      Marketing, Marketing.... Just don't think about it and pay up..

      It's just like the "unlimited data plan" that gets you throttled if you use too much on AT&T... What's old is new again.

  • Now I won't have to get a cable subscription to watch Twin Peaks, and I'll be able to give Lynch money without tracking him down and handing him an envelope full of cash to make up for piracy.
  • by Ice Station Zebra ( 18124 ) on Wednesday June 03, 2015 @03:06PM (#49834021) Homepage Journal

    Be it cable tv, itunes, ads (hulu) etc. I'm NEVER going to subscribe. Let me pay you money, and access content with no ads and I'm in. You can even put appropriate limits such as with netflixs and its # of streams limit.

    • Good point!

      Also, can I get those shows for download, please? THAT'S what I want; d/l shows, pay the price, no ads, no bullshit, efficient use of bandwidth, all devices covered. It's my media content dream, and I'm sticking to it!

      Of course, they better have some good new shit for me. I already have my near-line "netflix" in the form of 1.5TB of shows and movies already, mostly from my DVD collection and paid-for TV services with huge, gaping, goatse-like analog holes for me to poop on! Sorry, I'm a bit menta

  • How much do you want to bet they will add commercials on top of their very over priced service?
  • OK, forget the whole "subscription-free" label that costs $11/month for a minute...how the hell did we go from bitching for years about forced bundled offerings from our cable providers, only to have the "win" result in this pricing model?

    At this rate, the dozen or so channels that people watch today will "only" cost them 120% of their current cable bill to obtain them in the future via streaming. Oh, and don't forget those broadband caps and additional speed you'll need to stream everything.

    That kind of m

    • by blueshift_1 ( 3692407 ) on Wednesday June 03, 2015 @03:32PM (#49834269)
      I disagree for items like HBO & Showtime. They are both non-standard channel groups that you have to buy to view. They tend to be between $10-15 extra to get with you normal cable/satelite service. So the external subscription isn't really significantly more than getting it anyway.

      However, for standard programming you really have to see if the cost is justified. For me, an Antenna + netflix is more than enough. I think the traditional model will always appeal to some, but it's nice to see that a la carte options are available if that is all you need/want.

    • HBO and Showtime have always been premium channels that cost $10-15 a month extra. If basic cable channels like AMC or Comedy Central wanted $10 a month, now that would be crazy.

  • Just because you can pay more for a service like HBO or Showtime by buying them in parts (even if only a month), does not make them cheaper.

    Now, if we were a First World nation, we'd pay $20 a month for 10 Gbps internet plus TV.

    That would be a bargain.

    But this is still highway robbery.

  • Are they building out their own network or outsourcing it the way HBO did?

  • Great service. I would tip Showtime but as it turns out I only have $100 bills. I'll get you next time.

  • When one walled garden just isn't enough!
  • This isn't an Android vs Apple post... but seriously? Again? HBO did it like a fool. This shows how out of touch the executives are. The people a streaming services most benefits are the cord-cutters. They seem to get that much at least. But do the math of how many cord-cutters are Apple device users. People cut the cord because they don't want to pay for overpriced garbage - they are probably not users of Apple devices, because they know they can get the same or better for less by using Android. Th

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