Is Showtime preparing to throw its hat into the online ring? Andy Fixmer at Bloomberg Businessweek reports that the premium cable channel is developing an online video service for its paid subscribers.
The move sounds like a no brainer for Showtime. HBO recently launched its own iteration of that idea, HBO Go, nationwide, and upstart premium cabler Epix has built its model on the notion of watching what you want wherever you want it.
Premium cable channels are experimenting with ways to offer service online and to mobile customers without cannibalizing monthly pay-TV subscription fees that contribute the bulk of their revenue. Showtime is discussing the planned service with pay-TV operators that distribute the channel, the person said.
In order for Showtime to remain competitive with market leader HBO and upstarts like Epix in the premium channel world, it will have to expand its content to other platforms eventually.
Thanks to websites like Hulu and mobile apps from networks and programmers (including Showtime), consumers are getting more and more used to watching content away from their home, or at least in the other room. Most people still watch television on their television sets, but with authentication getting better, and the competition getting in the game, Showtime planning an entry into the arena makes solid business sense.
Cable operators, like Comcast and Time Warner Cable, are on board with the program as well… as long as only paying subscribers get access to the content online and on mobile devices of course.