Streaming video bingers may soon have one fewer subscription service to pony up for.
Paramount, the parent company of Showtime and CBS, is planning to merge its Showtime and Paramount+ streaming services.
The company, formerly known as ViacomCBS, launched Paramount+ in June 2021.
Later this year, Showtime will be “fully integrated” with Paramount+ and the names of the premium Paramount+ streaming tier and the Showtime pay TV network will be changed to “Paramount+ with Showtime,” CEO Bob Bakish said Monday in a memo to employees provided to USA TODAY.
“Paramount+ will become the definitive multiplatform brand in the streaming space – and the first of its kind to integrate streaming and linear content in this way,” he said.
Paramount+ has grown to 46 million subscribers, accounting for the lion’s share of the company’s 67 million total streaming subscribers, the company said in November 2022.
In comparison, Netflix and Disney+ have about 223 million and 164 million, respectively, while NBCUniversal’s Peacock service has 18 million.
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Paramount isn’t the only media giant looking to streamline its offerings. Warner Bros. Discovery, which has about 92 million subscribers across its HBO and Discovery+ streaming services, plans to combine HBO Max and Discovery+ this spring.
Even with Paramount streamlining its streaming operation, “there are still far too many streaming services,” LightShed analyst Rich Greenfield said on Twitter. “Either major players combine or some will disappear.”
What will the new integrated Paramount+ and Showtime cost?
What’s not certain is whether subscribers will save money later this year when the changes kick in.
Currently, Paramount+ starts at $4.99 per month.
A Paramount+/Showtime bundle starts at $11.99 monthly; for $3 more per month ($14.99), subscribers can watch with fewer ads and stream their local CBS station live, too.
A separate Showtime streaming subscription currently costs $10.99 monthly.
Pay TV subscribers can get Showtime added to their package for about the same price and get free access to stream Showtime Anytime. These services will likely go away in favor of the new service.
What’s on Paramount+?
For starters, there’s the new supernatural series “Wolf Pack” starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. Other Paramount+ offerings:
- The two “Yellowstone” prequels “1883.” and “1923,” which stars Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren. Also: “Star Trek: Picard,” which begins its third and final season on Feb. 16. More Star Trek on Paramount+ includes “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds,” “Star Trek: Discovery,” and “Star Trek: Lower Decks.”
- Recent episodes of CBS shows such as “Ghosts,” “NCIS,” and “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”
- Nickelodeon shows including “Paw Patrol” and “Spongebob Squarepants.”
- Recent film releases such as “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Devotion” and classics such as “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “Grease.”
- Sports including live UEFA Champions League soccer and NFL games.
- Live CBS TV and more than 40,000 episodes and movies from CBS, BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, and Smithsonian Channel.
What’s on Showtime?
Original TV series such as “George & Tammy,” “Yellowjackets,” “Dexter,” “Billions,” “The L Word,” “Desus and Mero,” “The Chi,” “and “Penny Dreadful,” plus movies including “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” and the documentary “Sheryl.”
There are also and live sporting events including Bellator MMA and boxing.
Follow Mike Snider on Twitter: @mikesnider.
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Story Credit: usatoday.com