Starz Play, Starz’s authenticated TV Everywhere app, debuted Tuesday on the Xbox 360, and the premium programmer said it is already developing an app for the Xbox One, Microsoft’s newly launched $499 console.
The launch of Starz Play on the Xbox 360 marks Starz’s first TV Everywhere app for a gaming console. Starz has not announced any plans for the Sony PlayStation 3 and new PlayStation 4 consoles.
As is the case with other TV Everywhere apps offered on the Xbox 360, Starz Play users must get TV service from an operator that has secured TV Everywhere distribution rights for Starz and subscribe to the Xbox Live Gold service.
Starz said it is also working on versions of its two other TV Everywhere services – Encore Play and Movieplex Play, for the Xbox 360, and expects them to debut sometime in the first half of 2014.
MVPDs that have launched TV Everywhere services from Starz include Cablevision Systems, DirecTV, Verizon FiOS TV, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Suddenlink Communications, (Starz Play and Encore Play), and AT&T U-verse TV, Cox Communications, Atlantic Broadband, GCI, Grande Communications, and Wave Broadband/Astound (Starz Play, Encore Play and Movieplex Play). Comcast, Charter Communications and Dish Network currently offer TV Everywhere content from Starz through their own platforms but not yet via Starz’s individual Play apps.
“Teaming up with Xbox is an exciting new addition for STARZ PLAY. The Xbox 360 app launch today offers tens of millions of current and prospective STARZ subscribers an exciting way to enjoy premium STARZ exclusive movies and originals on the TV, and we pledge the incredible new Xbox One is a top priority for our 2014 development plans,” Michael Thornton, chief revenue officer of Starz, said in a statement. “With the dynamic STARZ PLAY Xbox user interface, which includes full voice and gesture support with Kinect, we have developed a tremendous new vehicle for subscribers to enjoy the unmatched STARZ premium TV experience on the television.”
Starz has also developed “Play” apps for several other consumer electronics devices and platforms, including PCs and Macs, iOS devices, and several Android-powered smartphones and tablets, including the Kindle Fire and Fire HD, Nook HD and HD+, and Google Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10.
Also on Tuesday, Discovery’s Animal Planet L!VE debuted on the Xbox 360, complementing its reach on browsers, mobile devices and Samsung smart TVs. Animal Planet L!VE, which features more than 20 live animal cams, has streamed more than 1 million hours of video and is averaging more than 12 minutes per session since its April debut, Discovery said.