September 25, 2021

STARZ vs. Showtime

Starz vs Showtime

In the world of entertainment, at-home streaming is now king. There are countless streaming subscription services available, collectively offering tens of thousands of titles and endless entertainment opportunities. The hard part is choosing which streaming apps are worth the download for you and which ones are better to pass on.

STARZ vs. Showtime are two premium streaming subscriptions that offer a similar product in many ways but have enough differences to make each one distinct. The main difference you’ll find from one streaming platform to the other is the lineup of content since each platform offers its own original TV and movie titles that will appear to different people.

If you’re stuck between STARZ vs. Showtime and want to learn more about both options before pulling the trigger, read on below to learn about these two great streaming options.

STARZ vs Showtime Comparison

Want a quick way to compare the STARZ and Showtime streaming apps? Check out what they each have to offer in the comparison chart below.

 ShowtimeSTARZ
Price per month$10.99/month$8.99/month
Titles availableOver 600Over 1,000
Simultaneous StreamsThreeFour
Offline ViewingAvailableAvailable
Ad-Free ViewingAvailableAvailable
Original ContentAvailableAvailable
User ProfilesOneOne
Free Trial30-day trial7-day trial

Which Streaming App is Right For You?

Showtime launched back in 1978, one of the original on-demand entertainment options that launched to compete with HBO. Since its creation, Showtime has now amassed over 27 million subscribers.

On the other hand, STARZ got into the game much later, launching 26 years ago in 1994 under Liberty Media and TCIO. STARZ has seen successful growth as well, with 26.2 million subscribers total.

Now, let’s break down the most important aspects of both of these streaming services so you can determine which one suits your needs most closely.

STARZ

Let’s kick things off with a deep dive into everything STARZ has to offer.

Unique Content

STARZ has several original titles, though they lack original movies. That being said, it has a ton of original shows like Spartacus and Davinci’s Demons. You may also like Ash vs. Evil Dead, a STARZ original that won several niche awards.

Its biggest title that is currently airing is Outlander, a multi-Saturn Award winner that has also seen nominations for the Primetime Emmys and Golden Globes.

Ease of Use

If you don’t want to deal with fuss, you’ll love the STARZ user interface and experience. The main menu bar lets you navigate movies, series, featured content, and a TV Schedule. Then, you can see what titles you’ve been interested in under the My List tab. In the TV Schedule, you’ll see an easy-to-digest grid layout to see what’s coming on next. Cancelation of a Starz subscription is also quite quick and easy.

This interface is relatively the same across platforms where you use it, except for the addition of offline viewing on the mobile app.

Customization

There’s not many personalization options available, mainly because you can only set up one user profile per account. However, you can add shows to your Favorites and find them under the My List menu tab. You’ll also get personalized recommendations on what to watch next based on your viewing history.

If you have kids and want to enact some control over what they view, you can use parental controls to block certain content without your permission by asking for a PIN.

Mobile App

The STARZ app could be better. It seems to have a lot of glitches, and the picture quality is lagging, making it hard to enjoy your streams in one sitting. The app has a tough time on Chromecast trying to communicate to the larger screen, creating long pauses throughout playback.

Compatibility

Device compatibility is a big factor to consider when deciding between streaming services. STARZ is a platform that works on the following devices:

  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Amazon Kindle Fire phones and tablets
  • Android TVs, tablets, and phones
  • Apple devices on iOS 8.1 or above
  • Apple TV devices that are 3rd gen or newer
  • LG TVs with WebOS 3.0 or above
  • Certain Samsung Smart TVs
  • Roku devices that are 2nd gen or newer
  • Xbox One and Xbox One S

You have the option to view and use your STARZ platform on any of these devices.

Bonuses

STARZ offers offline viewing on the mobile app, allows four simultaneous streams from different devices, and offers highly-rated original series that may be especially attractive to certain viewers.

Drawbacks

As far as disadvantages go, STARZ has a smaller lineup of titles when compared to Showtime. Additionally, the originals that STARZ does have aren’t as big as the hits coming from Showtime. Finally, if 4k viewing is important to you, you’ll find the small selection of 4k titles lacking.

Showtime

Now let’s take a look at Showtime and the benefits it offers.

Unique Content

Showtime, much like STARZ, doesn’t have that impressive of a movie collection of original titles. However, it has tons of original TV series, like Californication, Penny Dreadful, Weeds, Ray Donovan, and Homeland. Homeland alone won five Golden Globe awards during its eight seasons.

Another great title that deserves recognition is Shameless, which has nabbed four Primetime Emmys and is one of IMDB’s top-rated TV series. Showtime originals have a massive following, and it’s easy to see why.

Ease of Use

Showtime’s user interface is sleek and simple, keeping the layout design clean and intuitive. In addition to the fast-forward and rewind buttons that many streaming services don’t offer, Showtime also lets you add content to My List for offline viewing from the mobile app.

The experience is pretty much the same across platforms, with just a few differences here and there that are easy to pick up on.

Mobile App

The Showtime app also has a few issues, including crashing and lags; however, we’d say it’s better than the STARZ app is. One thing that’s not great on the Showtime mobile app is the playback controls. There’s no option to skip the opening credits, which is something we’ve now come to expect from our streaming services.

The Showtime app doesn’t seem to have as many problems streaming on certain media players or TVs.

Compatibility

Showtime also works on a wide range of devices, making viewing possible wherever you are. These include:

  • Amazon Fire TV, Kindle Fire phones, and Kindle Fire tablets
  • Android phones, tablets, and TVs
  • Apple devices with iOS 9.0 or above
  • Apple TV that is 3rd gen or newer
  • Oculus Go
  • Chromecast
  • LG Smart TVs
  • Portal TV (by Facebook)
  • Roku devices that are 2nd gen or newer
  • Playstation 4
  • Xbox One
  • Samsung Smart TVs

From video game consoles to TVs and mobile devices, there are tons of ways to watch.

Bonuses

Showtime comes through with tons of hit original series that beat STARZ by far. It’s hard to compare with titles like Ray Donovan, House of Lies, Dexter, Billions, Shameless, and Californication.

Plus, you can download these titles and watch them on mobile offline without the need for data, which is great when traveling.

Finally, there’s a Resume Watching feature that lets you pause your place on one device and pick up where you left off on another.

Drawbacks

Showtime’s main drawback is the lack of parental controls. There’s no way to set a PIN that only adults know, so children (or anyone) can go into settings and adjust the viewing restrictions.

Additionally, the total offering of content is much smaller on Showtime than it is on STARZ, regardless of its collection of notable original series.

Things to Note

There are plenty of specific notes that may make or break your decision, so we thought we’d share some of these unique, niche findings that may apply to you.

  • Do you care about explicit sex scenes? You’ll find more of these on Showtime, though Outlander has you covered in that department on STARZ.
  • If you prefer to watch movies over TV shows, we’d recommend STARZ. It has a larger, better roster of movies that Showtime can’t compete with. Some of the titles we’re referring to here are 22 Jump Street, Still Alice, and Guardians of the Galaxy.
  • If you’re a major Scorsese or James Cameron fan, stick with STARZ. If you lean more toward Richar Linklater, go with Showtime.
  • Are you in it for the sports? Showtime’s subscription offers more than just TV and movies, like boxing and sports documentaries.
  • You’ll have access to each platform’s old catalog of titles, and in this case, Showtime has a lot more to offer since they’ve been creating original entertainment for much longer. However, if you already have a subscription to Netflix, you already have access to many of these titles, like Dexter and Nurse Jackie.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of pros to both STARZ vs. Showtime, but for most people, it makes more sense to subscribe to one of these rather than both. It’s a tough decision between the two, but they have enough distinctions between them that should make the choice easier.

Eric Anderson

Writer and owner of CATV.org. Eric covers the latest happenings in the world of cable TV: deals, reviews, previews, new tech gear & more.

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