Report: Paramount Considering Moving All Showtime Content to Paramount+, Axing Standalone Service
While this move seemed like an inevitability when CBS All Access originally launched in 2014, and even more so when it rebranded as Paramount+ in March 2021, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Paramount Global is finally considering sunsetting the standalone SHOWTIME streaming service and merging all of the premium cable network’s content to the company’s flagship streamer.
Last month, Paramount launched an in-app bundle creating a Showtime hub inside the Paramount+ app, uniting the services for the first time. To celebrate, Paramount is offering a deal on the bundle for $7.99 per month with ads and $12.99 per month without ads. After Oct. 2, the prices will rise to $11.99 and $14.99 respectively.
However, while the cost-benefits might be in favor of bundling the services — SHOWTIME alone runs $10.99 monthly — consumers currently still have the ability to subscribe to each service individually. According to WSJ sources, that option could quickly become a thing of the past.
“We are always exploring options to maximize the value of our content investment by giving consumers access to great Paramount content through an array of services and platforms,” a Paramount Global spokesman told the Journal.
As competition has increased across the streaming landscape, many have predicted that consolidation and rebundling would be the next evolution as content creators look to offer the best value proposition to consumers in a crowded market. Warner Bros. Discovery announced last month that it would combine its two disparate streamers HBO Max and discovery+ in the summer of 2023, and Disney CEO Bob Chapek has recently discussed the possibilities of merging Hulu and Disney+ sooner rather than later.
While Paramount unifying SHOWTIME and Paramount+ would continue the trend, the WSJ does indicate that this merger could be slightly more difficult than others in the industry due to contracts with pay-TV providers, who would likely not be keen on continuing to pay the same carriage fee rates while the audience for Showtime content continues to be fragmented across streaming
“Paramount executives are discussing the incentives they could offer cable and satellite companies to allow Showtime to be folded into Paramount+, the people familiar with the situation said,” Jessica Toonkel wrote in the WSJ.
While smaller, niche streamers have been finding a profitable footing in the marketplace as of late, Showtime’s library of content might just be too valuable for Paramount to not include on the company’s largest streaming platform.
Between Paramount+, SHOWTIME, BET+, and Noggin, Paramount Global reported 64 million global subscribers following the second quarter of 2022, with 43 million coming from Paramount+ alone. CEO Bob Bakish has repeatedly stated that the company’s goal is to eclipse 100 million by 2024.
While there is certainly overlap that will be erased if the services do merge, the move would seem to make sense in the larger scope of Paramount’s strategy to create a service that has something for everybody. Not only would Paramount+ be the home for iconic kids’ content from Nickelodeon, broadcast favorites from CBS, NFL and English Premier League soccer, and Paramount Studios’ films, but also for one of the most enduring premium channels on cable. That is certainly an attractive marketing pitch as streaming competition continues to heat up.
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.
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 Yellowjackets, Billions, and American Gigolo. If you choose to bundle Showtime with Paramount+, you can get both services for $7.99/month (with ads) or $12.99/month (ad-free).
With your subscription, you’ll also get access to their critically acclaimed catalog of previous shows like Shameless, Homeland, Ray Donovan, 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 a month either directly from SHOWTIME, or through Amazon Prime Video Channels, Apple TV Channels, or Roku Premium Subscriptions.