Starz standalone subscription service beats HBO, Showtime on price and features

By Shawn Knight
Apr 6, 2016
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  1. Starz has become the latest premium television network to offer a standalone subscription. The network may lack some of the more well-known original content found on competing networks but it makes up for the deficit in both price and functionality.

    The streaming service sells for $8.99 per month which Starz says will include instant access to more than 2,400 selections each month including shows like Outlander, Power and the upcoming American Gods. You can also count on Starz for hit movies like Avengers: Age of Ultron and later this year, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

    The monthly fee allows for up to four simultaneous watchers but what may really get customers excited is offline viewing. With it, users will be able to download programming and watch it while away from Wi-Fi. Current cable and satellite subscribers that already receive Starz will have free access to the new app.

    In comparison, HBO Now commands $14.99 per month while Showtime sells for $10.99 each month.

    As Variety points out, the standalone service will not feature live, real-time streaming.

    Late last year, Starz partnered with Amazon to offer standalone access to its content although you have to be a Prime subscriber to watch that way.

    The offering is clearly targeted at cord cutters and cord nevers, those that have never subscribed to traditional pay TV. While it’s great to see networks offer innovative new ways to consume their content, one can’t help but think the dream of true à la carte is slipping further away. It’s still possible to save a good bit of money by cutting the cord although if your interests are spread across multiple networks, you may not come out ahead.

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  2. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Maniac Posts: 939   +244

    I used to get Starz for free as part of the Dish Network package I had. I rarely watched it. At $8.99/mo, it is a non-starter for me. Heck, I might not even pay $3.00 / mo for it since I would still be likely to not watch it. The Force Awakens is at Redbox already, so $2.00 for the Blu-ray rental for one night vs paying $8.99/mo seems like a no-brainer to me.

    They can keep offering these services like this, however, I would like to see some numbers on how many subscribers each of these services has. ATM, I am content with Netflix and OTA - especially since my solution allows me to time-shift OTA. For shows like Doctor Who, I don't mind waiting a year to see new episodes since they are on PBS in my area for free after that year.

    I can see that some people might go back to a subscription model if they cannot get what they want to watch - especially sports - as a cord cutter, but sports is not important to me. This may be what networks are trying to do with these high subscription fees - entice people to reattach the cord. However, I have to say to the services that are stepping in to the cord cutter arena late like this - Good luck with that!

    For myself, I cord cut because I was paying almost $90/mo for content I never watched, plus I was also paying for internet access. Now, I still get stuff I watched OTA and my content costs are down to $12.99 / mo. For me, this amounts to cord-cutting because I felt that the value was not there for the amount I was paying per month. I am willing to bet that there are others out there that cord-cut for value reasons, too, and something like this Starz package adds no real value to the mix.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2016
  3. daThomas

    daThomas TS Rookie

    Curious as to what you are using to time shift your OTA content?
  4. mojorisin23

    mojorisin23 TS Booster Posts: 109   +14

    HBO and Showtime have tons of original programming in addition to top tier movies.

    Starz can't compete. if HBO is $15 and showtime $11, then Starz should be no more than $6.
  5. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Maniac Posts: 939   +244

  6. daThomas

    daThomas TS Rookie

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