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Paramount CEO Provides Updates on Paramount+ Price Increase, Future Content Spending, SHOWTIME Merger

David Satin

The UBS Global Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Conference is underway, which means various executives from streaming and media companies are out to answer questions from industry insiders and investors. Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish spoke at the conference on Tuesday and offered plenty of insight into the future of the company’s flagship streaming service Paramount+.

The most newsworthy note from Bakish’s time was an eventual price increase for the service. The exec echoed other company executives in saying that an increase was definitely coming, but did not specify when or how much subscribers should expect to be paying.

Bakish suggested that Paramount+ won’t raise prices on both of its subscription tiers at the same time. Paramount+ currently offers an ad-supported Essential tier for $4.99 per month, and an ad-free tier Premium for $9.99 per month, which includes access to a live stream of users’ local CBS stations. Bakish indicated that the company would likely raise the price of the more expensive tier first, in order to retain users who might otherwise churn away from the service when the cost goes up.

“There’s also no question that we are nowhere near the top of the pricing [for Paramount+],” Bakish said. “We’re very much value-priced … [it’s] really great value to the consumer. We will move the price up, no question about it.”

The CEO also gave more insight into the plan to merge Paramount+ with SHOWTIME. Bakish pointed out that the name “SHOWTIME” conjures a specific image of the content users can expect to see, so the company wants to try to maintain that brand as much as possible. However, users can expect a fully integrated version of the two services sooner or later.

“It doesn’t make sense to have a fully built-out streaming infrastructure separate for SHOWTIME and Paramount+, so we’re going to bring that together. And there are economic benefits associated with it,” Bakish remarked.

In the meantime, Bakish pointed users to the fact that as of August, customers could bundle SHOWTIME and Paramount+ and watch all of the combined content in a single app. The combined Paramount+/SHOWTIME bundle currently runs $14.99 per month.

The conference also gave an opportunity for Bakish to provide a bit of insight into the future of content at Paramount+. He reported that the company is still on track to increase its streaming content spend from $2 billion in 2022 to $6 billion in 2024. The CEO noted that the company owns a popular collection of franchises, and will lean further into those IPs in 2023.

Overall, it was a strong November for Paramount+. Thanks to the NFL and the premiere of the Taylor Sheridan-created “Tulsa King,” starring Sylvester Stallone, Paramount+ broke records for new subscribers signed and total hours streamed globally. Customers may grumble at the announcement of upcoming price hikes, but Paramount+ is in a strong position headed into 2023.

Paramount Plus

Paramount+ is a subscription video streaming service that includes on-demand access to 40,000+ TV show episodes from BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr. and more. The lineup includes “1883,” “Tulsa King,” “Star Trek: Discovery,” Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob SquarePants,” and MTV’s “Laguna Beach.” From well-loved franchises to compelling originals, Paramount+ offers a great library worth streaming. Live NFL games are included. The service also offers the option to watch your live CBS affiliate.

Subscribers can choose between the Essentials Plan (which includes ads) for $4.99/month, or go commercial-free with the Premium Plan for $9.99/month. Subscribers can add Showtime to either plan for an additional fee.

With their Premium Plan, in addition to not having ads, you will also get access to your local CBS affiliate to stream your local news, prime-time lineup, and late-night. You will also be able to download offline and watch select shows in 4K.

With the lower cost “Essential” plan, you will still be able to watch live NFL games, Champions League, and national news – but you will no longer get your local CBS affiliate.

With their new app, enjoy advanced recommendations, curated homepages, and new content categories while still being able to stream major live sports like NFL, College Football, College Basketball. Sports fans will also appreciate the service’s inclusion of NFL on CBS, PGA Tour, along with every match of UEFA Champions League and Serie A.

The service was previously called CBS All Access.

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