On the heels of rival premium cable content provider HBO, Showtime has just launched its own streaming content service called Showtime Anytime. Initially available for Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-verse customers, the service, and its corresponding iOS app, allow users to stream most of Showtime’s television content and a selection of feature films as long as they subscribe to Showtime via their corresponding cable provider.
The Showtime service follows the lead of HBO’s own service, HBO GO, launched in August of 2010, which aimed to bypass third parties such as Netflix and offer streaming content directly to customers. Like Showtime Anytime, HBO GO streams HBO’s content directly to customers of select cable providers. Due to HBO’s head start, however, HBO currently employs agreements with Verizon FiOS, AT&T U-verse, Comcast, Time Warner, and Cablevision; Showtime Anytime currently works only with Verizon and AT&T.
The New York Times reports that Showtime executives lauded HBO’s efforts and wished to replicated and expand upon the ground HBO broke over a year prior. In calling HBO GO an “excellent product” Showtime’s executive vice president of affiliated sales and marketing, Tom Christie, stated “We took a look at what they did, and we took a look at what else was happening in the space that is frequently called ‘TV Everywhere…We took our time to be careful and put together the best product that we could.”
While currently limited to Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-verse, Showtime Anytime access is coming to Comcast XFINITY subscribers soon, and to more cable providers later in the year. Further details can be found at the Showtime Anytime website, and the iOS app (currently available only for iPad, with an iPhone version expected early this year) is a free download from the App Store.