Today’s the day that Showtime officially integrates with Paramount+ in the U.S., giving subscribers access to all Showtime titles, including “Billions,” “Dexter,” “Yellowjackets,” “George & Tammy” and more.
The new ad-free plan, Paramount+ with Showtime, costs $11.99 per month and is replacing Paramount+’s premium ad-free plan, which was $9.99. Existing premium subscribers — with or without the Showtime bundle — will automatically be upgraded to Paramount+ with Showtime.
Similar to the in-app Showtime bundle that the company launched last year, Showtime content will now appear throughout the platform, including in the search section and across the home page. Alongside the integration, the company rolled out new “carousel options” or dedicated rows on Paramount+ with Showtime, such as “Featured on Showtime,” “Showtime Movies” and a Showtime hub featuring various shows and genres such as drama, comedy, action and more.
Additionally, Paramount is giving new customers a 30-day free trial for Paramount+ with Showtime. Users have until July 12 to redeem the offer.
As previously announced, Showtime’s standalone app will shut down at the end of 2023, which gives subscribers enough time to migrate to the new Paramount+ with Showtime subscription. Plus, in the near future, the Showtime linear channel will also be rebranded to Paramount+ with Showtime.
Eventually, the company will introduce a “consent-based transition” for Showtime subscribers, Paramount+’s Chief Product Officer, Rob Gelick, told TechCrunch in an interview. This means that, once it’s ready, existing Showtime subscribers can allow Paramount+ to access their history, login information, payment details and favorites list so that everything can be moved over to the new subscription.
Meanwhile, subscribers with the Essential Showtime bundle (with ads) get to keep their plan and continue to pay $11.99/month. However, the company said it encourages Essential Showtime customers to upgrade to the Paramount+ with Showtime plan since they’ll be paying the same price, just without any ads.
Gelick touted the success of the former in-app Showtime bundle that the company launched last year. He claimed that customers with the bundle watch 20 more titles than “unbundled” customers.
We should also note that the regular Essential ad-supported plan lacks Showtime content – and it also went up in price, going from $4.99 to $5.99 per month.
Ahead of the merger, Paramount confirmed last week that it would be removing four Paramount+ titles from the streamer, including competition series “Queen of the Universe,” “Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies,” animated series “Star Trek: Prodigy” and “The Game.”
During the company’s latest Q1 earnings call, Paramount reported that combining Paramount+ with Showtime resulted in a programming charge of $1.7 billion. So, it’s likely that Paramount is axing less popular titles to save costs. The company also noted during the call that it’s expected to generate about $700 million in future annual expense savings.
“As we prepare to combine Paramount+ and Showtime later this month in the U.S., we are refining our content offering to deliver the best streaming experience for subscribers,” a Paramount+ spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter. “This is consistent with our content strategy since launch and across our business, which ensures we make smart, efficient choices, informed by audience data and insights. We are removing select programming as we look to optimize Showtime’s robust slate of premium originals.”
As the company looks to fine-tune its content library, it’s likely that more content will cease to exist on the service.