Hulu is continuing its bid to be a one-stop service for exclusive TV series and movies by announcing a content partnership with Showtime that will enable Hulu subscribers to sign up for the premium network’s online video streaming service for considerably less than Showtime’s standalone monthly rate. The move could be the first big cannon shot in a potential SVOD price war.
Getting both Hulu and Showtime for $17 a month total puts pressure on HBO‘s online model, which is sold as a standalone service. Showtime is already beating HBO Now on price, offering its online service, Showtime Anytime, to owners of Apple TV, Roku or Sony streaming devices for $11 per month–less than HBO Now’s $15 monthly rate. But Hulu subscribers can get Showtime for $9 a month.
So, is the low pricing a warning shot across HBO’s bow? The premium VoD network is not the only target in Showtime’s sights. And it’s worth noting that in Europe, HBO Nordic–the first over-the-top product offered by HBO–also delivers Starz and Showtime content, suggesting that these interesting times are making for strange bedfellows.
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