In the midst of growing competition, Paramount+ and Showtime are teaming up in the United States.

In the midst of growing competition, Paramount+ and Showtime are teaming up in the United States.

Nearly a year after ViacomCBS announced its name change to Paramount, the company is making a major portfolio shift with the news that it will fully integrate Showtime with Paramount+ – the streamer known for years as CBS All Access. The integration spans both linear and streaming platforms, the company said, meaning Paramount+ will now be rebranded as “Paramount+ with Showtime,” while US linear TV network Showtime will also be rebranded.

This kind of consolidation was inevitable given today’s highly competitive streaming environment, where even Netflix has had rough quarters and has had to turn to advertising to continue growing its business. In the streaming market, consumers have many options to choose from, and an independent service like Showtime simply doesn’t have the breadth and depth of content it needs to stand on its own.

Showtime launched its streaming service in 2015, six years before CBS All Access changed its name to Paramount+. However, Showtime isn’t quite as popular as its little sister, Paramount+, which makes up the bulk of the company’s direct-to-consumer subscriber base. The streaming service registered 46 million subscribers in Q3 2022. Paramount itself has almost 67 million Paramount+, Pluto TV, Showtime, Noggin and BET+ subscribers worldwide.

The integration is not only intended to raise Paramount+’s profile in the market, but will also help Showtime’s linear network. Paramount said select original programs from Paramount+ will soon become part of network television, providing additional value to Showtime distributors and potentially more linear customers.

The changes will roll out later this year and will only affect premium Paramount+ tiers, the company clarified. This allows Paramount+ to better compete with other premium streamers like HBO Max, while also differentiating itself from its streaming service by offering a mix of original and premium content, linear channels, live sports and news, and movies from Paramount Pictures.

Like HBO, Showtime’s content tends to have more mature themes that appeal to specific audiences beyond Paramount+’s general market objectives. However, both services would benefit from a combined user base and the ability to promote titles between themselves.

“This new combined offering demonstrates how we can leverage our entire collection of content to create deeper connections with consumers and greater value for our channel partners,” wrote Paramount CEO Bob Bakish in a memo to employees announcing the news. “This change will also result in better alignment of our domestic and international Paramount+ offerings, as Paramount+ International already includes Showtime content. Most importantly, this integration will deliver operational efficiencies and financial benefits to our broader portfolio,” he said.

Along with the news, Paramount announced that Chris McCarthy will continue to run Showtime’s studio and oversee network operations for the linear channel. He will also work closely with Tom Ryan, who will oversee Paramount+’s broadcasting business with Showtime.

The company warned that this transition could be accompanied by other program changes. For example, focusing on building Showtime’s successful show franchises diverts investments from underperforming areas that “represent less than 10% of our opinions.” This means that some cancellations or moves are probably fine. Paramount says it has initiated these discussions with its producing partners, but has not announced which shows will be removed or added to by these changes.

Paramount+’s newly merged service with Showtime will compete directly with Warner Bros. Discovery, which has 94.9 million subscribers worldwide on HBO, HBO Max and Discovery+. In September, Bakish confirmed at Goldman Sachs’ Communacopia + Technology conference that a merger was being discussed internally.

“You shouldn’t be surprised when we look at options for the future… Honestly, if we didn’t have this conversation, you all would have to fire us for having this conversation,” Bakish said.

In August 2022, Paramount+ introduced an in-app Showtime bundle for US customers who wanted to upgrade to a subscription with Paramount+ and Showtime. As a precursor to the company’s national integration plans, Paramount had already integrated Showtime content into its broadcast product in international markets.

Source: La Neta Neta

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