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Starz launches $8.99 per month streaming service

The premium network joins the likes of HBO and Showtime in the standalone subscription service game

Starz now has its own standalone streaming service, joining the ranks of other premium networks like HBO and Showtime. The service will cost $8.99 per month, making it cheaper than both Showtime's streaming service ($10.99 per month), and HBO Now ($14.99 per month). Existing Starz customers who already receive the channel through a premium cable subscription will get free access to the app, Variety reports.

Big Starz

The network plans to make all of its original content available through the app, as well as blockbuster movies like Avengers: Age of Ultron and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Although Starz's original programming might not be as compelling as HBO's, the price cut may be enough to entice some viewers. The Starz app will also, unlike its competitors, offer "virtually unlimited" downloads, so users can watch shows and movies offline. In an effort to ramp up interest in the app, Starz will make the first episode of Outlander's second season available to stream and download via the app on April 7th, two days before its linear premiere.

Today's launch doesn't come as too much of a surprise. Starz CEO Chris Albrecht hinted back in 2014 that the network was working on a subscription streaming service. Last year, Amazon began allowing users to add Starz to their existing Prime package, also for $8.99 per month.

The Starz app is available today in the App Store and in the Google Play store.