Showtime follows HBO into the streaming game
Showtime will join rival HBO with an online streaming service for those that don't want to pay for cable.
The cable channel said Wednesday that it will begin streaming in July for US$10.99 a month on all Apple devices, including the iPad, iPhone and Apple TV. CBS Corp, which owns Showtime, said it will be available on non-Apple devices soon.
The shift to online viewing has accelerated and there are now more people subscribing to Internet than TV, according to data provider SNL Kagan.
HBO rolled out a stand-alone streaming channel as the new season of its blockbuster Game of Thrones began in April, and Showtime has followed suit, seeking the same audiences that have flocked to Netflix, Hulu and Amazon.com.
Networks and cable channels have begun to create stand-alone streaming services as a way to reach people who don't subscribe to traditional cable packages that have dozens of channels.
"Going over-the-top means Showtime will be much more accessible to tens of millions of potential new subscribers," said CBS President and CEO Leslie Moonves, in a printed statement.
HBO Now can be had for US$14.99 per month for anyone owning an Apple device and it will be available on Android devices this summer. CBS already has a streaming service for its network, where customers can watch The Big Bang Theory and other CBS shows for US$5.99 a month. And Noggin, owned by Viacom Inc, lets users stream Blue's Clues and other children's shows for US$5.99 a month.
Showtime launches its streaming service, also referred to as 'over-the-top' content, on July 12.