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Hulu Offers Showtime to Subscribers, at a $2/Month Discount

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Hulu might be trailing Netflix by a wide margin—it counts 9 million subscribers to Netflix's 62 million—but its latest move will certainly win it some new members. Hulu announced that starting in July subscribers can sign up for Showtime at a discounted rate. Showtime's streaming service is priced at $10.99 per month, but Hulu subscribers can get it for $8.99—on top of their $7.99 Hulu subscription. That's an incentive for cord-cutters to trade in their $100 per month pay TV bill, and for OTT customers to look to Hulu instead of Netflix. Showtime content will be available through Hulu's app. Hulu will offer a 30-day free trial for people to test the service out and decide if they like it.

Hulu says that it's subsidizing the $2 discount itself, in the hopes of building its subscriber base.

“What we’re basically figuring is that by adding these two services together, we think that consumers are entitled to a discount. We really wanted to be aggressive coming out of the gate,” says Tim Connolly, Hulu's head of distribution, as quoted by ReCode.

Since the Showtime option doesn't launch until next month, those interested can visit Hulu's Showtime page and sign up to be notified when it's ready. Showtime's recently announced standalone streaming option is launching on July 12.

Unlike Hulu's other content. Showtime programming will be ad-free. If Hulu removed the ads from all other subscriber video, it might find itself in a better position to challenge Netflix. Many people seem to be turned off by the idea of paying for streaming programming and still viewing commercials.

The Showtime news comes soon after Hulu's announcement that it will offer every season of Seinfeld. In fact, access to all of Seinfeld's 180 episodes began yesterday. Hulu has recreated Seinfeld's set in Manhattan's Meatpacking District as a five-day promotion.

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