Paramount Mulls Dropping Showtime Streamer, Folding Into Paramount+

Paramount has had internal discussions about the possibility of discontinuing Showtime’s streaming service and folding its content into its Paramount+ streamer, although no decision has been made. 

The Wall Street Journalreported on the talks on Tuesday, stressing that they were in early stages. Paramount subsequently confirmed to Deadline that there had been discussions, but stressed that they are part of a broader assessment of how distribution should look going forward. 

“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 spokesperson said in a statement. 

Some Showtime programming is already offered within Paramount+ in some markets outside of the U.S. 

Showtime’s standalone streamer costs $10.99 per month. Paramount+, which had 43.3 million subscribers as of the end of June, costs $4.99 per month with ads and $9.99 without ads. 

In August, Paramount also created a Showtime/Paramount+ bundle, promoting it with  limited-time prices of $7.99 with the ad-supported Paramount+ tier (dubbed the “Essential Plan” bundle) or $12.99 with the no-ads tier. After Oct. 2, the bundle will be offered for $11.99 with ads or $14.99 without them. 

Paramount said the bundle is designed to streamline the subscribing and content discovery processes for consumers. 

A merged, single streaming entity would presumably help Paramount streamline operations and reduce marketing as well as billing, consumer data and other costs. 

Bundles and mergers are already a trend in the streaming industry. 

Disney+’s bundle, which includes ESPN+ and Hulu, was instrumental in Disney+’s successful launch and subsequent growth. Disney is also expected to merge Hulu into Disney+  after it acquires Comcast’s remaining 33% interest in Hulu in 2024. 

Warner Bros. Discovery is in the process of merging HBO Max into its Discovery+, with a U.S. target date of Summer 2023.

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