By Charlene Badasie | Published
In the realm of streaming wars, Paramount+ and Showtime have struggled to compete with giants like Disney+, Netflix, and HBO Max. Now, to expand its offering, Paramount Global has decided to merge its forces by combining the two services into a single app. The news follows last year’s decision to unify billing for the two streaming platforms with steep discounts, with the parent company keen to give the service an extra boost. New subscribers can sign up for the basic ad-supported combo for just $7.99 per month, while the ad-free version will cost $12.99.
Current subscribers can upgrade their existing plan to the in-app plan, reports Deadline. After the introductory discount ends on October 2, the basic subscription will cost $11.99 per month with ads and $14.99 without. People who don’t want Paramount+ but are still interested in Showtime will still be able to subscribe for $10.99 per month as a standalone offering. This offer also applies through third-party distributors. The reverse is also possible with a slight price adjustment. A standalone Paramount+ subscription will cost $4.99 per month with ads or $9.99 without them.
However, there is a small catch. Live sporting events are not part of the ad-free option, although Showtime programming does not feature ads when viewed through the combo app. Speaking about the app merger, Paramount Global Streaming President and CEO Tom Ryan said the Paramount+ and Showtime bundle offers people unprecedented value by providing a vast library of streaming content to some of the lowest prices on the market. “This singular user experience streamlines enrollment and enhances discovery,” he told Variety.
Ryan added that the lower price will also allow more households to enjoy the combined entertainment offering from Paramount+ and Showtime. The content of the former currently includes original series like 1883, Halo, Star Trek: Discovery, and Secret Headquarters. There are also a bunch of originals to come like Tulsa King, On the Come Up, Criminal Minds, Wolf Pack, and 1923 debuts this fall. Meanwhile, popular Showtime shows include Billions, yellow vests, the Chiand Dexter: new blood. There is also new programming like american gigolo and Leave the one on the right in premiere soon.
Interestingly, Paramount+ subscribers outside the US already have access to Showtime. The service is offered by default within the international streaming platform. According to Tech Crunch, Paramount+ recently launched in the UK and Ireland with plans to expand to Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Africa and the Middle East. The streaming service has also launched in South Korea in partnership with TVING. It plans to include India in partnership with Viacom 18. In the second quarter, Paramount+ added 4.9 million subscribers, reaching 43.3 million in total.
The Paramount+ deal with Showtime comes as Warner Bros. Discovery strives to combine HBO Max and Discovery+ into a single platform in 2023. But the company hasn’t revealed pricing or packaging details for the moment. Meanwhile, Disney’s three-way bundle of Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu has been a major hit since its introduction in 2020. While each service will remain separate, Hulu is expected to migrate to Disney+ once House of Mouse has taken full control in 2024.