Spotify adds Showtime to its $5-a-month Hulu bundle for college students

Last September, Spotify announced a bundle with Hulu for students that costs $5 a month, which is an amazing deal for any college student. Now, nearly a year later, Spotify is dramatically improving on that deal, adding a Showtime subscription to the offering for no additional charge.

College students in the US will have access to Spotify’s updated Premium for Students plan which includes Spotify Premium (regularly $10 a month), Hulu’s limited commercial plan ($8 a month), and Showtime subscription ($11 a month). Existing student users can log in to their accounts and add Showtime, while new users will get the first three months of service for $0.99.

Alex Norström, Spotify’s chief premium business officer tells me the company has already signed up millions of users through its college plan with Hulu, and the addition of Showtime will only help that offering grow. “[The partnership] has been an overwhelming success for us, and for Hulu as well,” Norström tells The Verge. “We’re always trying to find creative solutions to add value back to our premium customers, especially via partnerships, and our focus is on the long-term relationship with each subscriber. If we do the right thing, they reward us with loyalty.”

For Showtime, the move provides an excellent way to get in front of — and attempt to lock in — the next generation of potential premium cable subscribers. “We had to figure out ways to get into a place where kids could stream us easily,” Showtime COO Tom Christie tells The Verge. “There’s no other brand out there today that’s been more successful in setting up streaming business on campus than Spotify”


Image: Spotify

With the Spotify bundle, Showtime now costs half of what HBO would cost for students, a move that, if successful, could help accelerate growth of the premium channel over the top service. Christie says that Showtime is open to potentially joining the Spotify-Hulu bundle that is available for non-student Spotify users for $12.99 a month, and he notes that those conversations are ongoing.

“We’re having those conversations,” Christie says. “We have not taken that step yet, but we certainly wouldn’t turn away from an opportunity like that. We’re still having conversations about that next step.”

Don’t be surprised if this isn’t the last streaming bundle you hear about. Given the increasing number of streaming services and the rising number of cord cutters, streaming platforms are looking for less confusing ways to bring these products to consumers. “We’ve heard from many [streaming platforms] that there’s just a lot of apps, and it’s creating consumer confusion and consumer difficulty,” Christie says. “And there are conversations now with more and more of these internet partners about ‘how do we simplify the consumer experience?’ And bundling certainly is a topic of conversation, and I think that will only become more intense as the years go by.”

The new Spotify bundle with Hulu and Showtime is available today for $5 a month for all students above 18 enrolled at eligible colleges and universities in the US.