Starz has launched a standalone streaming service featuring a subscription app that will allow users to download content without the need for a Wi-Fi or broadband connection.
The ability to access shows without having to stream through an internet connection is currently not available on HBO Now, which launched a year ago, or Showtime’s streaming service, which launched last July. The feature does exist on Amazon Prime. Starz also won’t allow users to livestream its linear network, as Showtime does, but it can be livestreamed at Starz.com.
The service costs $8.99 per month, compared to Showtime’s $10.99 subscription, and HBO’s $14.99 subscription. The app is supported on iOS and Android devices. Stand-alone subscribers and Starz’s current subscribers will have free authenticated access to the app, and up to four users will be able to access the app simultaneously, with unlimited downloads.
With 23.6 million subscribers, the Starz has surpassed Showtime as the number two pay cabler, second to HBO, and is following in their footsteps with a focus on digital content available outside the traditional pay TV model. Starz first moved outside the pay TV model in December 2015 by partnering with Amazon to offer the network as a paid add-on service to Amazon Prime subscribers.
The streaming service launch comes after months of Starz CEO Chris Albrecht hinting that the company had committed resources to building a cutting-edge streaming service, and on the heels of a major rebrand that including bringing all Encore channels under its umbrella.
“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,” Albrecht said in a statement.
“Showcasing the rebranded Starz offerings we announced last month, we believe this innovative app will also help fortify the broadband business of many of our traditional distributors and be even more appealing for inclusion in future video bundles.”
Aimed at the 20 million homes that pay for broadband but not the full cable TV bundle, users will have access to all of Starz’s original series, including Outlander, Power and Ash vs Evil Dead, along with a wide variety of movies like Avengers: Age of Ultron and later this year, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Starz will also offer early access to the first episode of the second season of Outlander which will be available to stream on April 7—two days before the show’s linear premiere.