ViacomCBS CEO Reveals Why Paramount+ Isn’t Bundled with Showtime
During its time at the Morgan Stanley TMT Conference, ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish outlined the reasoning for keeping Showtime a standalone product in the United States. “Part of the reason is that it is edgier, more risk-taking — it’s a little more coastal than Paramount+ which is a broader product,” Bakish said. “We think it makes sense, at this point in time, to maintain that differentiation.”
By not integrating all their content into a single service like HBO Max did, they are also able to keep the price low at just $4.99 a month with ads and $9.99 a month without.
They company recently discontinued their $9.99 bundle of Showtime and CBS All Access through Apple TV to new customers, but existing subscribers will be able to keep the plan after the name change.
ViacomCBS previously offered a $2 discount directly for CBS All Access subscribers to add Showtime to their existing ad-supported ($14.99) and ad-free ($18.99) plans. During their launch event, they said they will be offering a discount in the future to those who want both.
Bakish was bullish on Showtime, praising the network’s strong 2020 and told listeners it’s had a strong start to 2021. “Showtime had a fantastic year in 2020,” Bakish said, “on a financial basis, and on a streaming subscriber basis, including every quarter. It’s had a great January and February too. The programming lineup it has is resonating.”
Bakish credits Your Honor, Showtime’s number one launch for 2020, as a key reason for the station’s success. The series, starring Bryan Cranston, tells the story of a New Orleans judge whose son is involved with a hit and run that puts him in the sights of an organized crime family.
International audiences, though, might get to see Showtime bundled in with their Paramount+ bundles. “Obviously at the same time, internationally where we don’t have a Showtime business, it’s a bit simpler,” Bakish said. “We’re going to run an aggregate product and we’ll see how that goes.” Bakish said that after the simultaneous U.S./Latin American launch, Paramount+ would launch in Australia and the Nordics, and seemed to indicate those other territories would have access to Showtime as part of Paramount+.
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