Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Paramount+ and Showtime Set to Merge in June 2023; 'Essential' Plan to See Price Increase

Earlier this year, it was revealed that Paramount+ would be merging with SHOWTIME. Now we have learned the date for when this merger will happen thanks to Apple (via Cord Cutters News).

Here is an email being sent to subscribers of Showtime by Apple:

SHOWTIME is being fully integrated into Paramount+ on or around June 27 — meaning your subscription will include even more hit movies and shows under one service, Paramount+ with SHOWTIME. No action is required to enjoy the expanded benefits of this Apple TV channel.

—The Apple TV Team

Update (5/23) - Paramount has confirmed that it will launch its new Paramount+ with Showtime service on June 27, bringing Showtime’s programming into the main Paramount+ experience. The new commercials-free tier will become the cornerstone plan for Paramount+, and will cost $11.99 per month (up from $9.99 currently for the top tier of Paramount+, but on par with the price for the current Paramount+ with Showtime offering).

However, Paramount will also be raising the price for its “Essential” plan, which will not include Showtime content. That plan will cost $5.99 per month moving forward (it currently costs $4.99 per month). Paramount also offers Pluto TV, its free, ad-supported streaming service.

Despite the pricing changes, the company’s suite of streaming offerings remain competitive priced compared to others. Max, for example, which launches Tuesday, has an ad-supported tier that starts at $9.99, and an ad-free tier at $15.99. Netflix’s ad tier starts at $6.99, with its standard plan at $15.49.

The price hike has been expected ever since Paramount announced its intent to merge Paramount+ and Showtime earlier this year. The more premium Showtime programming will now live alongside the broad Paramount+ originals like the Taylor Sheridan universe, Nickelodeon content, and live sports through CBS. Executives at the company had teased the hikes in a February earnings call.

The company says that it will sunset its Showtime app and rebrand the Showtime linear channel by the end of the year, a rebranding that will bring some Paramount+ programming to its pay-TV offering for the first time to “deliver a distinguished premium service with hit originals across linear and streaming – the first to truly integrate streaming and linear content this way.”

The move to unify Paramount+ and Showtime is designed to make the top-tier plan even stickier and engaging as competition continues to flourish in the streaming world. The announcement of the Paramount+ With Showtime initial launch comes as WBD is set to launch Max on May 23 (combining HBO Max and Discovery+); Disney, meanwhile, is planning to roll out an integrated experience for Disney+ and Hulu later in 2023.

The unified Paramount+ With Showtime service includes Showtime’s originals like the Emmy-nominated Yellowjackets, Dexter, Your Honor, Billions, George & Tammy and The Chi as well as non-fiction projects including Couples Therapy and Peabody Award-winner We Need to Talk About Cosby.

That will be combined with Paramount+’s lineup that comprises franchises including the Taylor Sheridan universe (1923 and Tulsa King), Star Trek, SpongeBob SquarePants Universe and RuPaul’s Drag Race as well as films such as Top Gun and Scream and library series including NCIS and PAW Patrol. In addition, Paramount+ offers live events and sports — including the NFL — through local CBS stations, plus thousands of exclusive soccer matches a year anchored by the UEFA Champions League. 

Paramount has been merging the Paramount+ and Showtime teams since January, with Showtime hit by layoffs in February.

“From Yellowjackets to Your Honor, Showtime is home to big, premium, sophisticated series which will now be complemented with broad, blockbuster originals and movies in the alignment of Paramount+ with Showtime,” said Chris McCarthy, president & CEO for Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios & Paramount Media Networks, in a statement. “Together, Paramount+ with Showtime will provide our consumers a much more rewarding experience with our vast set of unique originals and deep library of iconic shows and hit films.”

“This summer, Paramount+ will officially become the streaming home for Showtime, further advancing our lead in being the total household service,” added Tom Ryan, President & CEO Paramount Streaming. “By integrating the Showtime premium and critically acclaimed portfolio with the service’s already broad and popular slate, all at a competitive price, we will solidify Paramount+ as a cornerstone in streaming.”

The merger is not expected to impact Paramount+ and SkyShowtime services internationally, which already carry SHOWTIME content, such as Yellowjackets.

Here is the memo from Tom Ryan, the President and CEO of Streaming at Paramount from when this change was announced:


As we work toward the rollout of “Paramount+ with SHOWTIME,” it is important we are positioned to thoughtfully and consistently shape the conversation in the market around our unique, multiplatform strategy.

To that end, I am thrilled to share that Erin Calhoun, currently Executive Vice President, Communications, SHOWTIME Networks Inc. & Paramount Television Studios, has been appointed to the new role of Executive Vice President, Communications, Paramount Streaming and Cross-Company Publicity.

As some of you know, Erin has been a passionate advocate for Paramount and SHOWTIME, leading the development and execution of strategic communications programs that have elevated and distinguished our original programming and creative capabilities in a crowded landscape. Her deep industry knowledge, strong media relationships, keen instincts and adaptability have made her an essential partner in telling our story to internal and external audiences alike. A seasoned communications veteran, she joined our company in 2017 after prior stints at NBCUniversal and Discovery among others.

In this newly created position, Erin will lead communications for our integrated streaming team, ensuring we are effectively showcasing the momentum and milestones of this incredible enterprise and reinforcing the benefits of our broad, multiplatform offering. As part of this, she will bring together the communications teams from Paramount+, Pluto TV and SHOWTIME to create a united function focused on our powerful streaming story, reporting to me. Erin will also closely collaborate with Chris McCarthy and his team in her role leading communications for Paramount+ with SHOWTIME.

In addition, Erin will also take on oversight of cross-company publicity, with a focus on planning, coordinating and elevating announcements that showcase the success of our global multiplatform strategy. In this capacity, she will report to Justin Dini, Head of Communications, Paramount.

As part of this change, Susan Lundgren is leaving the organization. I’d like to thank Susan for her contributions during her time at the company, where she helped oversee communications efforts for not only CBS All-Access after it launched, but the incredibly successful rebranding and launch of Paramount+ over the last two years. Susan’s work, along with that of the entire streaming communications team, have been integral to making Paramount+ one of the fastest-growing streaming services in the industry.

Please join me in congratulating Erin on her new role.



Stream a Mountain of Entertainment, including your Nickelodeon favourites on Paramount+! Try it FREE at ParamountPlus.com!

Originally published: May 18, 2023.

Special thanks to @RegularTweetsUK for the news!; Additional source: IGN.

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