Showtime standalone service finally comes to Xbox One

Showtime
"Ray Donovan" is among the shows Showtime subscribers will be able to access via the network's app on Xbox One.

Two years after launching its standalone subscription app, Showtime has finally arrived on the Xbox One. Apple, Roku, Amazon, Google and Samsung already offer the OTT service.

Customers can now pay $10.99 a month through their Xbox for Showtime without a bundle subscription. New customers can also take advantage of a seven-day free trial.

Subscribers will be able to view current shows such as the relaunched “Twin Peaks” and upcoming seasons of “Billions,” “Ray Donovan” and “The Affair.” The live broadcast of Showtime’s East Coast and West Coast feeds will be available, as will thousands of hours of on-demand movies, original shows, documentaries, comedy specials and sports.

Along with the standalone subscription launch, Showtime is also updating its TV Everywhere app, Showtime Anytime, for Xbox One, enabling existing subscribers to view the premium network via their game console.

Along with other premium networks, Showtime has been aggressive in securing carriage for its OTT app on skinny bundles offered by Hulu, YouTube, Sling and PlayStation Vue and also via Amazon Channels. The Amazon offering in particular has become a major driver of premium subscriptions for HBO, Starz and Showtime. 

The rollout of “Twin Peaks” offered an example of why ubiquity in the digital realm is a crucial strategy for a network like Showtime. Following months of secrecy, the show returned in May, and while linear ratings have been fairly anemic, the value of the show as a subscription driver has been considerable.

Because the show has trended on Twitter and captured the attention of a younger, more digitally integrated audience, it also was crucial for those same consumers to be able to try Showtime without a bundle and at a lower price point. The result was a single-day record for new Showtime signups.

“In the world that we live in now, offering original programming that attracts new subscribers is our primary business objective,” Showtime Networks President and CEO David Nevins said. “By that standard, the ‘Twin Peaks’ premiere is the biggest single-night driver we’ve ever had.”

Showtime parent CBS Corp. has a vested interest in boosting streaming subscriptions. It has pledged that by 2020, Showtime's standalone app and CBS All Access, a $6 monthly service, would have 8 million subscribers between them. Earlier this year, reports emerged that each was in the 1.5 million range.