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Paramount+, Showtime Remain Standalone Services, But What is the Difference Between Them?

Aubrey Meister

ViacomCBS-owned streaming services Paramount+ and Showtime are remaining standalone services rather than merging – at least for now.

“These are two distinctly different services with two very different missions,” Gary Levine, president of entertainment at Showtime, said Tuesday morning during the Television Critics Association press tour. “We will stay true to our brand, and we have high hopes for Paramount+ to define itself.”

What is the difference between Paramount+ and Showtime?

Paramount+ offers an ad-supported tier and an ad-free tier. The Essentials Plan is ad-supported and costs $4.99 per month. The Premium Plan is ad-free and costs $9.99 per month. A free trial lasts 7 days.

As for content, the two services have different offerings. Showtime’s other entertainment president, Jana Winograde, said that Paramount+ offers “four-quadrant” mass appeal.

Paramount Plus

Paramount+ is a subscription video streaming service that includes on-demand access to 12,000+ TV show episodes including originals Star Trek: Discovery, Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants, and MTV’s Laguna Beach. Meet captivating characters, catch up on your favorite sport, explore new worlds in the growing collection of Paramount+.

Previously under the name ‘CBS All Access,’ Subscribers can choose between their Essentials Plan (which includes ads) for $4.99/month, or go commercial-free with their Premium Plan for $9.99/month.

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 line-up, 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 like the old ad-supported plan.

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.

On Paramount+, you will find a wide selection of over 12,000+ TV show episodes, including an extensive collection of Nickelodeon shows. Some of Paramount+’s originals include Star Trek: Discovery, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Laguna Beach.

Paramount+ features NFL on CBS, PGA Tour, along with every match of UEFA Champions League and Serie A, making it a good option for sports fans. The Premium Plan gives subscribers access to local CBS affiliates. With the Essential Plan, subscribers can watch live NFL games, Champions League, and national news.

With the Premium Plan, users can download content to watch offline and stream in 4K. All subscribers can stream on three devices at the same time.

SHOWTIME

SHOWTIME offers a subscription video streaming service that gives access to content on Showtime without the need of a cable subscription. With your subscription, you’ll get access to all of their current originals like Billions, Shameless, Homeland, Ray Donovan, Black Monday, and On Becoming a God in Central Florida.

With your subscription, you’ll also get access to their critically acclaimed catalog of previous shows like Dexter, Weeds, Nurse Jackie, House of Lies, Californication, Queer as Folk, and The L Word.

SHOWTIME also has new-release films from CBS Films, Amblin Partners, and IFC Films, which appear on the streaming service 7-8 months after they are in theaters. Every month they also have hundreds of additional older movies from major movie studios.

You can subscribe for 10,99 US$ a month either directly from SHOWTIME, or through Amazon Prime Video Channels, Apple TV Channels, or Roku Premium Subscriptions.

Showtime offers a single subscription plan, which is ad-free and costs $10.99 per month. A free trial is available for 30 days.

Winograde said that Showtime is “more sophisticated” and gives subscribers access to a more “curated” library. On Showtime, you will find original titles, including Billions, Shameless, Homeland, Ray Donovan, Black Monday, and On Becoming a God in Central Florida.

Showtime also offers a full catalog of critically acclaimed shows. Hundreds of movies are available to stream as well. Subscribers can stream new-release films from CBS Films, Amblin Partners, and IFC Films 7-8 months after they are in theaters.

Subscribers can download shows and movies to watch offline. Three devices can use Showtime simultaneously on a single subscription.

Since 2019, ViacomCBS has struggled to decide whether to merge the two services or keep them separate. CEO Bob Bakish first wanted to create several smaller services rather than one large platform to compete with Netflix, Disney+, and HBO Max. Then, CBS All Access was relaunched as Paramount+, featuring a larger library and new and improved features. While Paramount+ looked as if it was on its way to becoming a major streaming service, ViacomCBS chose to keep it separate from Showtime.

In 2021 Q2, ViacomCBS reported 42 million global subscribers, which includes Paramount+, Showtime, and BET+ users. A recent study shows that smaller streaming services are thriving, so the current strategy may be effective for ViacomCBS.

ViacomCBS’ international strategy could us a look at what’s ahead in the US. Despite Paramount+ and Showtime staying separate for now, they could eventually merge. Last week, Comcast and ViacomCBS unveiled their streaming service, SkyShowtime. It is set to launch in 20 European territories in 2022 and includes Showtime, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, Paramount+ Originals, Sky Studios, Universal Pictures, and Peacock.

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