Hulu and Showtime have announced a partnership that will make Showtime's streaming service available to Hulu customers.
This is the first time that Hulu has provided a network's premium selection of content. Until now, Hulu offered featured shows from five of the six biggest U.S. networks, in addition to its own shows.
Showtime has made a number of announcements related to how its content will be available, which includes offering its content through Apple devices and Roku streaming boxes. It's also working on more ways to offer content. Hooking up with Hulu is big because the Hulu app is already available on thousands of phones, tablets and TVs.
"Hulu is an important launch partner for Showtime as we continue to expand our service across new platforms and distributors, reaching new consumers wherever a broadband connection is available," said Showtime CEO Matt Blank in a statement.
The price point of the service is also interesting. Hulu subscribers can add Showtime content to their subscription for $8.99 per month, on top of the monthly $7.99 for a basic Hulu subscription. This is actually cheaper than Showtime's other streaming avenues, which are $11 a month — which means Hulu is effectively subsidizing the price in order to attract more customers.
"We are always looking to give our subscribers access to the best content available," said Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins in a statement. "The robust slate of Showtime original programming, movies, and specials together with Hulu's strength in current season programming, library acquisitions and original programming makes a powerful combination."
The new deal could lay the groundwork for similar deals, as there is currently a rather large number of streaming services available to those who want it. Having a single place to manage subscriptions could be extremely helpful for people who want to subscribe to multiple networks.
By going through Hulu, networks can massively grow their user base without having to put a lot of effort and money into advertising and software development.
It's not currently known whether Hulu has anything in the works with other services, but it's certainly possible that more deals could be struck in the future. Hulu has already done the groundwork by developing a huge user base and a great website. The company would easily be able to accommodate for future add-ons.
Showtime's service will launch on Hulu July 12, a date coinciding with the season premieres of "Ray Donovan" and "Masters of Sex."