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Showtime and Paramount+ Are Merging Under One App

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You can now get everything from Yellowjackets to all things Star Trek in one place, for a lower price.

the paramount and shotime logos combined together

Collage by Gabe Conte

In the modern streaming age, Showtime and Paramount + have struggled to get the buzz and attention of giants like Netflix, Disney +, and HBO Max. Now their parent company, Paramount Global, has decided to merge their strengths by bundling Showtime and Paramount+ together into one app, with a discount for new subscribers. Until October 1st, you can either get both services with limited ads for $7.99 a month, or ad-free for $12.99 a month. (On October 1st, prices return to $11.99 with ads, $14,99 without.)

Streaming services have hit a major inflection point as of late, with Netflix’s subscriber-growth struggles signaling that viewers’ appetite (and budget) is not bottomless. While Netflix is readying a lower-priced, ad-supported tier, Showtime/Paramount + is following the parallel trend of consolidation. HBO Max and Discovery+ will merge into one service starting next summer. There has also been industry speculation, covered by Puck, that Disney’s Bob Chapek wants to merge Disney+ and Hulu in order to grow the former’s already colossal user base. (Disney owns ABC, a majority partner in Hulu. Meanwhile, the other partner, Comcast, is putting its NBC programming on its own streaming platform, Peacock.)

“Additional consolidation in the filmed entertainment and TV industries will be largely driven by streaming services providers’ need for larger content catalogues to satisfy consumers’ insatiable demand for hit content,” Mike Chapman, Partner and Americas Media Lead at Kearney, told Observer.com.

Even before streaming, Showtime had trouble getting out from under the shadow of its flashier rival, HBO, which dominated awards and buzz. Meanwhile, the shaky, confusing rebranding of CBS All Access to Paramount+ has made it harder for it to gain traction. But the two services have been putting out some attention-getting programming, and joining them in one app could draw more attention—and subscribers. Showtime amassed a following for last year’s Covid hit, Yellowjackets; Flatbush Misdemeanors is a sharp comedy that demands a bigger audience; Billions is still going strong after six seasons; and later this month the network unveils American Gigolo with Jon Bernthal, a reimagining of the 1980 Richard Gere movie. (Gigolo was developed by David Hollander, showrunner of Showtime’s timeless dad hit, Ray Donovan.)

Meanwhile, Paramount+ is the home of multiple Star Trek spinoffs (Discovery, Picard, Strange New Worlds, Lower Decks), RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars, and The Real World Homecoming reunion miniseries. (Attention MTV nostalgists: Paramount+ is the exclusive home for many classic cable hits, including all of the original Real World seasons, as well as Jackass.) Together, these two services truly provide something for everyone (but especially dads).

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