As more and more of television shifts to add an online streaming component eventually everybody is going to be involved. This means that sometimes you get major announcements that may change the face of television forever, like HBO offering a stand alone service that does not require a cable subscription. Other times, you get announcements like Lifetime movies now being available on your iPhone.
Variety is reporting that the cable channel Lifetime just launched a video on demand streaming service specifically for their catalog of original films. The service is available now for iOS devices, with an expectation to expand to other platforms this fall. The service is available for a $3.99 monthly subscription fee and offers a package of about 30 films.
Lifetime has been in the original movie business for 25 years so they have quite the extensive catalog. However you don’t seem to get that much of it for your monthly subscription. The list of titles will be “refreshed weekly” which is not the same thing as “increased weekly.” So while new titles will be added on a regular basis it sounds like some will also be lost. If you actually want to get the app and watch all the movies you’ll have difficulty since some will likely disappear before you get around to them.
Lifetime’s movie history has focused on female driven melodramas for years, though recently they have branched out into some interesting areas like behind the scenes, tell alls on your favorite 80’s and 90’s TV shows, and the recent, A Deadly Adoption which we still have trouble describing.
If you’ve never met a Lifetime Original Movie you didn’t like then this app is for you, though if that’s the case you’ve probably seen them all already. On the plus side you do not need to have an existing cable or satellite subscription so if you recently lost access to your Lifetime movies due to cutting the cord, now you’re covered.
In the end this is another example of a cable channel going into the “over the top” world because it knows that’s what it’s supposed to do. Everybody from Showtime to CBS is getting into the online streaming business and Lifetime certainly won’t be the last. What’s more, if the service is even moderately successful be prepared for Lifetime to launch a second service for their original series, since this one is only covering their movies.
This is the first direct streaming service from Lifetime’s parent A+E Networks, so this could possibly signal future offerings from their other networks as well. At least from an A&E app you’d get access to Bates Motel.