We can add another major network to the ever growing list of those offering a standalone streaming service.
Starz has thrown its hat into the crowded ring. The new subscription service will be $8.99; a bit less than those of HBO and Showtime, which are likely Starz’s most immediate competitors.
While maybe known best for a great collection of hit movies, Starz has slowly grown its original content, including popular shows like Outlander (a personal favorite), Power, and Black Sails. The service will be available through the App Store, for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple TV, as well as through the Google Play Store, on a number of Android supported devices.
While the basic elements of the service are similar to others, there is one fundamental difference. Starz’s service will have download capabilities, allowing users to watch Starz content offline. It’s an exciting offering, and the obvious appeal is for travelers, in every form. Often times flight entertainment offerings are limited, and for anyone who has suffered through the infuriatingly slow, and often non-existent connection on Amtrak’s trains, the Starz feature is a blessing. Additionally, the service will allow up to four users to watch simultaneously.
As Starz CEO Chris Albrecht commented, “Starz has entered the market today with an enormous value proposition for consumers. Our programing will now be more widely available to the 20 million broadband only homes of cord nevers, cord cutters and cord shavers, including Millennials and other underserved consumers who need other viable subscription service options.”
He is certainly correct in that regard. But, with the increasing number of standalone offerings, consumers will be forced to choose which services they value most. Starz’s eponymous brand and Encore have a combined 55.8 million subscribers. If they can get a fraction of that number to sign up, they’ll be in good shape.