Almost as if the original content arms race has been forgotten, Streaming TV companies are moving forward with new plans. The first movers are Hulu and Amazon, who have arranged deals with movie networks like Starz and Showtime. Bundles are back, for better or for worse.
Amazon will offer a number of movie network subscriptions at additional prices added onto the yearly fee. This isn't your average cable-style bundle. Just pay an additional amount for each additional network every month. $9 a month for Showtime, $9 a month for Starz, $5 for Acorn TV every month. $4 montly for Lifetime Move Club, and $4 a month for Smithsonian Earth. In addition, pay the $99 per month for the rest of the Amazon Prime service, which includes discounts on shipping from Amazon.com and access to e-books and movies.
What happens if you use an Apple TV to watch Showtime or any of the other networks? No problem. You can watch them on your set-top box with your Amazon Prime login information. That's true for Roku and Chromecast, yes. You can also sign in with your Amazon credentials on Android, iOS, Kindle Fire, and Fire TV.
Hulu viewers can also add Showtime to their service for $8.99 a month, the same deal as Amazon's. But is it a good deal to get networks this way? In some cases, yes. Without an Amazon subscription, you'd pay $10.99 a month for Showtime by itself. However, there's no discount on the Lifetime subscription with Amazon. It's $4 either way. You may want to wait for Apple's upcoming streaming TV service, which will go for $30 to $40 a month, whenever it's finally put on offer. The channels may suit your better than any combination of Amazon's partner networks. Let us know what you think in the comments.
By Lindsey Marx
February 24th, 2020
Sign up below to receive a monthly newsletter containing relevant news, resources and expert tips on Streaming TV and other products and services.