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Paramount+ Confirms Price Increase for All Subscriber Tiers Timed with SHOWTIME Integration

Matt Tamanini

During the earnings call on Thursday that followed Paramount Global's most recent quarterly report, the company’s CEO Bob Bakish confirmed that its flagship streaming service will see a price increase when it incorporates SHOWTIME content into Paramount+ early in the third quarter of 2023.

The Paramount exec confirmed that Paramount+’s ad-free Premium tier will increase its price by $2 from $9.99 to $11.99 per month as it will be rebranded Paramount+ with SHOWTIME. The ad-supported Essential option will raise its price by $1 from $4.99 to $5.99 monthly.

On the earnings call, Bakish said, “We are on the value end of the pricing spectrum, and so in 2023, we will raise price — both for Paramount Plus premium and essential both in the U.S. and select international markets.”

Company CFO Naveen Chopra highlighted the fact that the Premium tier will see the larger price increase because it is the one that will be receiving the extra content with the integration of the library of Showtime films and series. However, the ad-supported plan — which will not see any specific changes surrounding the folding in of Showtime content — will also increase by $1 per month. In December, Bakish confirmed previous comments from Chopra that a price increase was on its way, because of how relatively inexpensive the subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service was when compared to its competition, so this type of move was to be expected.

While the company did not disclose any further details on the timing of the price increase, it did indicate that it will continue to employ introductory deals in order to offer new customers a cheaper sign-up option, while also providing discounts on annual plans to new and current subscribers.

The timing of the price increase not only makes sense with the long-anticipated, full introduction of Showtime content to Paramount+, but also because the streamer is continuing to grow and reach scale, even if it is not discussed in the same breath as Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video, HBO Max, and the other more buzzy streamers. Paramount+ grew by nearly 10 million subscribers in the final quarter of 2022 to come in at just under 56M global customers. That growth represents a 70.73% year-over-year increase, aided by Paramount movies, hit original and CBS series, and increased international expansion.

In Thursday’s report, Paramount reported that its total direct-to-consumer (DTC) streaming paid customer total rose to 77 million subscribers worldwide. That not only includes the still separate Paramount+ and SHOWTIME streamers, but also features BET+ and Noggin. In addition, the company’s free, ad-supported streamer Pluto TV climbed to 79 million monthly active users following an increase of 6.5M during Q4.

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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