Look, a Streaming Service Is Actually Lowering Its Price
ManOfTheCenturyMovie News Look, a Streaming Service Is Actually Lowering Its Price

Look, a Streaming Service Is Actually Lowering Its Price



Look, a Streaming Service Is Actually Lowering Its Price

Look you guys, a streaming service that’s actually lowering prices. (Take note, Disney.)

A few days ago, an annual subscription to Starz cost $74.99; today, it’s $69.99. Existing subscribers were notified of the good news via email, and will see the price adjustment in their next billing cycle.

“As one of the few streaming networks that is profitable, we are always looking for ways to drive success for the business while providing great value to our customers,” Alison Hoffman, Starz president of domestic networks, said in a statement shared with IndieWire. “Our annual plan subscribers are some of our most valuable customers, so we wanted to find ways to drive more people into the plan and reward our existing customers.”

(Starz parent company Lionsgate reported a $37.7 million profit for Starz during the April-to-June quarter, when it finished with 26.6 million total subscribers across cable and streaming.)

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That’s super cool Ali (may we call you Ali?) — but what is really going on here? So many streamers raised their prices already this year that earlier this month we compiled a list. And that was before ad-free Disney+ and Hulu announced a(nother) price hike to the industry.

Well, for starters, the “Outlander” Season 7 midseason finale aired and streamed August 11 on Starz. Anecdotally, count this reporter’s household (read: wife) among the many whose Starz subscriptions come and go with each passing adaptation of the Diana Gabaldon-novels series. (“Party Down,” you know I love you.)

“Outlander” is a big, big deal for Starz — and it won’t be back for the back-eight episodes until next year. Meanwhile, the ongoing writers and actors strikes are clogging up the development pipeline, which is impacting every platform that relies on originals.

It’s not like Starz doesn’t have any programming next month. There’s a trio of sophomore-season finales — “Minx” (September 8), “Heels” (September 15), and “Outlander” spinoff reality series “Men in Kilts: A Roadtrip with Sam and Graham” (September 1) — and one premiere for “Power Book IV: Force” (September 1). Plus, “John Wick 4” debuts on the service on September 26.

And in October, “The Blackening” is coming on October 4; “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” follows one week later. “Shining Vale” returns on Starz on October 13. So there are comings and goings — it’s the fewer comings and one that one very specific going that Starz is worried about.

Still, Starz is very much bucking the price-hike trend, which is to monetize the living hell out of your existing subscribers while the getting is good. In previous years, the general approach to achieving streaming profitability was scale — or growing your subscriber base at all costs.

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“John Wick: Chapter 4”©Lions Gate/Courtesy Everett Collection

If $69.99 per year is still too rich for your blood — and believe me, we’re not judging — Starz is currently running a promotional special of $3 per month for three months. The Lionsgate-owned premium-cable and streaming platform will periodically do this sort of thing (at differing price points) as programming ebbs and flows.

Lionsgate was initially trying to find a buyer for Starz, but no one bit. The company now plans to spin off its studio (a move that is very much on trend) and sell that piece instead. Earlier this month, Lionsgate purchased eOne from Hasbro for $500 million.

Starz is actually exiting the Latin America market at the end of this year; it will focus on the U.S., Canada, and the UK.

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