making it official

Paramount+ and Showtime Will Unite Their Houses, Kinda

Illustration: Martin Gee

Pretty soon you’ll no longer need separate apps to binge Yellowjackets and The Good Fight: Paramount+ and Showtime are merging into one offering — sort of. While both platforms will continue to be sold and marketed as stand-alone services, their owner, ViacomCBS, said Tuesday that starting this summer, it will allow consumers to sign up for and access the combined offering of Showtime and P+ within the P+ app. The news was announced by ViacomCBS streaming president and CEO Tom Ryan at a virtual investor event, where a corporate name change to Paramount Global, or simply Paramount, was also announced.

Housing the two streaming platforms under one roof is something industry analysts have long suggested the company f.k.a. ViacomCBS consider, and it’s an idea it has been moving toward since last fall. That’s when it began marketing a P+ and Showtime bundle that gave consumers access to both for a single price but required them to access the services separately. It was a little messy, but according to Ryan, the offering “performed very well out of the gate.” Soon, in theory, P+ subscribers will be able to click a few buttons within the app and unlock access to Showtime’s series and movies while continuing to use the existing P+ user interface. “Within Paramount+, it will be seamless to sign up for Showtime,” Ryan told investors. “You’ll be able to simply upgrade your Paramount+ subscription to a bundle that includes the Showtime service and then view all that content in a single user experience. When you’re done watching Mayor of Kingstown, you’ll be able to move immediately to the next season of Billions — without ever leaving the Paramount+ app.”

The new and improved P+ and Showtime bundle will carry the same pricing as the existing one. For $11.99 per month, you get the ad-supported P+ “Essential” plan and Showtime; pay $3 more ($14.99), and P+ becomes ad free. That will put the offering price tag on par with WarnerMedia’s HBO Max ($14.99) but notably less than the ad-supported Disney bundle of Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ ($13.99) or the premium Disney bundle with ad-free Hulu ($19.99). There’s no word yet on an exact launch date for the new offering beyond “summer.”

Paramount+ and Showtime Will Unite Their Houses, Kinda