Apple devices won't be alone in getting Showtime's standalone streaming video service next month, as Roku and Sony's PlayStation Vue service are also hopping on board.
The $11-per-month service, simply dubbed Showtime, will launch by July 12, in time for the season premieres of Ray Donovan and Masters of Sex. It includes Showtime's full catalog of original series, along with movies, documentaries, and specials. Subscribers can also watch a live feed of Showtime's east coast and west coast broadcasts.
Last week, Showtime announced the service with Apple as its "first partner," but apparently this didn't imply any sort of exclusivity. Both Apple and Roku users will get a 30-day free trial for signing up in July.
Just like HBO's new streaming video service, Showtime doesn't handle the billing directly. Instead, users must sign up through a supported device, such as an iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Roku player, or PlayStation. The device maker then handles the billing process. But once you do sign up, you can watch on any of those devices, and on a computer through Showtime's website.
It's worth noting, however, that PlayStation users can only sign up as part of a PlayStation Vue channel bundle. At $50 or more per month, Vue isn't necessarily cheaper than cable TV, and for now it's only available in a handful of U.S. markets.
None of this affects the existing Showtime Anytime service, which is available at no extra charge if you already subscribe to Showtime through a traditional pay-TV package.
Why this matters: While HBO launched its own service with a three-month Apple exclusivity deal, it seems that Showtime isn't going the same route. That's good news for Roku and PlayStation Vue users, though it still freezes out Fire TV devices, Xbox consoles, Android devices, and Chromecasts for the time being.
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