What is Starz?
Starz is a premium subscription service owned by Lionsgate. Like HBO and Showtime, Starz produces original content while offering a library of movies and shows comprised of new releases and popular classics. Starz has two sister channels — Starz Encore and MoviePlex. In response to HBO and Showtime’s streaming services, Starz launched its own in 2016. It cost less than both at $8.99/mo. Its library features tons of Starz on-demand movies and classic TV shows. The service also has original series with plenty of action, drama, crime, comedy, and sci-fi.
Starz plans and pricing
You can purchase Starz as a standalone plan. It’s also available as an add-on through the following streaming services: Amazon Prime Video, AT&T TV, Hulu, Sling TV, and YouTube TV. If you purchase a Starz subscription as an add-on, the price will vary by streaming provider.
|Free trial length||7 days|
|Number of TV shows and films||150+ shows, 1,250+ movies|
After the initial trial, customers pay $9/mo. with no long-term contract required. This pricing is on par with other similar streaming services. Hulu, as mentioned above, charges $6/mo. HBO Max’s ad-free plan starts at $10/mo., while Showtime is also $9/mo. after a free trial. Netflix streaming plans range from $9 to $18/mo.
How Starz compares
Starz vs. HBO Max
HBO Max is about the same price as Starz, with monthly plans available starting at $10. HBO Max lets users upgrade to an ad-free experience for $15/mo, while Starz users always get an ad-free experience. Both platforms have original content, but HBO Max also carries programs from other networks, including Friends (an NBC show). In the free trial department, Starz gives you 7 days and HBO Max no longer offers any free trial.
Starz vs. Paramount+
Starz and Paramount+ don’t have any overlapping content. So, to some extent, the app that’s right for you boils down to which shows look more entertaining. Starz originals like Power are only found on the Starz platform, and the Paramount+ app has all the original content that used to stream from CBS All Access plus its own original series. Paramount+ does have a slightly lower cost than Starz; Paramount+ only costs $5/mo. and students get a 25% discount. Both platforms have a 7-day trial period.
Starz vs. Showtime
Starz is just $9 per month when purchased independently, which is comparable to Showtime’s $11 price tag. The network doesn’t have as many original series as Showtime, but Starz what it lacks in original productions it makes up for in classics and cult favorites. Users will find Top Gun, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and Little Women on Starz. The trial period for Starz is just 7 days, while Showtime offers a 30-day trial before payment is required.
Users who are familiar with Netflix or Amazon Prime Video platforms will be right at home using Starz. The Starz streaming dashboard sorts titles in all the familiar ways: Just Added, Because You Liked, Popular, Original Content, etc. Users will see more personalized recommendations once they start watching.
Across the top of the screen, the interface (what you land on when you visit the Starz website) offers even more sorting options. These are Home, Featured, Series, Movies, and Schedule. A Live TV option for the Starz channel is also available if you buy Starz as an add-on on a service like Hulu + Live TV.
Whether you visit Starz using a Fire TV, Roku, laptop, or phone, the experience remains the same. The icons, sorting, and menus will be familiar. And maintaining the same login across devices means that Starz can remember your behavior and offer customized recommendations no matter where you log in. If you already have Starz through a cable provider, your cable login will grant you access to the mobile app and streaming device apps (such as on a Roku).
Keep in mind that downloaded content only remains in the device where you downloaded it. So, if you download a movie for offline viewing on a tablet, it won’t be downloaded on your laptop. This is because the content is downloaded for a limited time to the device’s hard drive and can’t be transferred digitally to another machine.
Starz supported devices
The Starz app is available on numerous devices such as smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs. Starz is also available as an add-on through streaming services like Sling TV.
- Amazon Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Cube
- Android devices
- Android TV
- Apple TV
- Google Chromecast
- iOS devices
- Nexus Player
- NVIDIA Shield
- Roku Express, Roku Stick, and Roku Ultra
- Smart TVs
- Web browsers
- Xbox One
What to watch on Starz
The Starz catalog features thousands of licensed and exclusive movies and shows. It also has bonus content like behind-the-scenes coverage.
The service categorizes content by genre. Below are a few of the most popular options.
- Just Added
- Family Favorites
- Black Cinema
- Award Winners
- Crime Dramas
- Romantic Comedies
- Hollywood Blockbusters
Available movies include Spider-Man: Far From Home, Men In Black: International, Wet Hot American Summer, Pulp Fiction, Coneheads, Bloodsport, Dazed and Confused, and Venom. The service also has new and award-winning films like Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, Chinatown, Lost in Translation, and Days of Heaven.
Starz has a comprehensive library of shows with old classics and new original series. There are four major show categories.
- Classic TV
- Popular shows
Other popular categories include Throwback Cartoons, Bingeable Series, Westerns, and En Español. The service gives you access to shows like Angela Anaconda, Sanford & Son, The Bernie Mac Show, Malcolm & Eddie, The Jeffersons, and Gunsmoke.
Starz also has original content. But even though it costs the same as Netflix’s entry-level plan ($8.99/mo.), Starz has nowhere near as many original shows as the streaming giant. Starz’s original content isn’t quite as popular as the programming produced by Netflix and HBO. Its original series library includes full seasons of American Gods, Outlander, Sparticus, The Rook, Wrong Man, DaVinci’s Demons, and Power.
There’s also plenty of kids content available with Starz movies like Toy Story 3, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Garfield, and Wreck-It Ralph; and shows like Bo On The Go!, Digimon Adventure, The New Adventures of Madeline, and Busytown Mysteries.
Downloading content on Starz
Like many streaming services, including Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, Starz allows users to download movies and TVs to watch later when you’re offline. This is particularly helpful for traveling with a mobile tablet in airplane mode. Downloading titles to watch later also helps limit data usage, and frees up wi-fi bandwidth in homes with multiple users. So, even if you have access to the internet, there are benefits to downloading a movie and watching an offline version at home.
A few caveats: only users with iOS or Android mobile devices are able to download Starz content for later viewing, and some titles can’t be downloaded at all. International viewers will have a more limited list of movies and shows available for download. After a movie or TV episode is downloaded, it is available on the app for two weeks before being automatically deleted.
The Starz app lets you download unlimited shows and movies from its vast catalog. So, you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite content away from an internet connection. It doesn’t provide cloud-DVR storage.
The Starz streaming service provides four simultaneous streams. This rivals Netflix’s Premium plan ($15.99/mo.), which lets you watch on up to 4 screens simultaneously. The Starz app works seamlessly between devices, making it easy to switch between smartphones and smart TVs.
Starz customization features are limited when compared to Netflix. Netflix allows you to create a personal profile and keep your content separate from other members of your household. With Starz, you’ll have access to multiple simultaneous streams, but you won’t have an algorithm closely recommending titles based on your watch history.
The Starz mobile app, available from Apple App Store or Google Play, offers a similar experience to desktop viewing. You can also download content for future viewing. Content is categorized by “TV” and “Movies,” with a small menu available at the bottom of the screen for easy sorting. The categories you’ve come to expect, like “Popular” and “Crime Dramas,” are also found on the mobile app.
Starz also offers parental controls so users can restrict the more adult content (including R and NC-17 titles) from younger viewers; set up is fast and only requires a PIN. If you purchase Starz through a third-party service like Amazon Prime Video, any restrictions you’ve already set through that service will automatically be applied. If you need to tweak the parental settings in your Starz account, navigate to the Settings icon on the top-right of your page. Select Parental Controls, and you’ll have the option to set a passcode for mature content.
The final cut
Whether you’re a fan of Starz original shows like Ash Evil Dead or enjoy its large collection of movies and classic shows, the service is both a formidable premium streaming service in and of itself and a great complement to services that mimic traditional TV providers. If you already have Hulu or Amazon Prime Video, you can add Starz as a premium channel. Are you unsure if Starz is right for you? No problem. The service offers a free trial, so you can test things out for yourself without paying a penny.