Showtime can be accessed as a standalone streaming provider of on-demand content and live channels and is also available as an add-on to other services, such as Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Sling TV. The channel is home to a long list of hit Hollywood movies and an impressive line-up of original programming.
Showtime at a Glance
How We Evaluated Showtime
Showtime offers a standalone service to viewers and is available as an add-on through rival video streaming platforms as well as cable and TV providers. We examined the price and features of Showtime in comparison to other platforms, looked at the cost of the various options, and also evaluated the number of channels available to third-party service subscribers.
Showtime vs. Other Video Streaming Services
Showtime Key Considerations
Solid user experience
Showtime is easy to use and consistent over its iterations across several devices and platforms. Highlights include simple video playback controls, which utilize classic fast-forward and rewind features.
Showtime apps use tiles to sort movies and TV shows into broad categories. The service also remembers content that the viewer last watched even if it was viewed on a different device.
Of course, it’s important to remember that subscribing to Showtime via a third-party provider, such as Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, or Sling TV, will result in a different viewing experience.
Standout original programming
Showtime is home to some of the best new TV dramas available. Its headline content includes Claire Danes starring in the thrilling CIA drama “Homeland” and Liev Schreiber playing law firm mediant “Ray Donovan.”
Other Showtime original series include the legal drama “Billions,” hit serial killer drama Dexter, and romantic mystery show “The Affair,” which stars Dominic West and Ruth Wilson. The service has a good range of content produced in collaboration with British producers, such as “Penny Dreadful,” executive produced by Sam Mendes, medieval drama “The Tudors,” and the U.S. version of British cult hit “Shameless.”
While exact catalogs change frequently, Showtime viewers have access to a rich choice of high-quality films, including a string of Oscar-winning movies. The standout of these is “Spotlight,” which stars Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams leading a newspaper investigation into the Catholic Church. Other selections include “Shakespeare In Love,” wartime drama “The English Patient,” the Oliver Stone directed, star-packed “Platoon,” and Colin Firth’s excellent depiction of King George VI overcoming his stammering problem in “The King’s Speech.”
The platform has an expansive list of other movies available, including Denzel Washington in “American Gangster” and Tom Cruise’s “Jerry Maguire,” “Days of Thunder,” and “Valkyrie.” Add to that fan favorites like “Mad Max,” “Point Break,” “Stand By Me,” and “Total Recall.” Showtime viewers will find their movie watching needs covered.
Live streaming options
In addition to its on-demand options, Showtime also gives viewers a choice of up to 16 multiplex channels. This includes eight themed, 24/7 services: Sho, Sho 2, Sho Extreme, Sho Next, Showcase, Showcase Beyond, Showtime, and Show Women. In some regions, these live channels are joined by The Movie Channel and Movie Channel Extra, which are also owned by Viacom. Customers who sign up for Showtime via a third-party provider will find live access is reliant on the number of channels their service offers. For example, Amazon Prime Video and Sling TV both have nine live Showtime channels, but Hulu only has one.
The Bottom Line
In an increasingly saturated video streaming market, providing options is crucial. Showtime does exactly that by enabling direct subscribers to watch an extensive list of quality movies and some of the best TV dramas around on top of 16 live streaming channels. That flexibility also extends to the option of just adding Showtime to an existing video streaming subscription, such as Amazon Prime Video or Hulu. Viewers can also sign up through several cable, TV, or live streaming providers. However, choosing the latter option means that users forego Showtime’s strong user experience features, with viewing options dependent on the provider.