Showtime now available within Paramount+ app, bundle starts with $8 promo price

Paramount has more tightly integrated its Showtime service with Paramount+ and is offering a limited promo price starting at $7.99 per month for content from both services.

On Wednesday Paramount announced that for the first time in the U.S., users can sign up for and access Showtime programming within the Paramount+ app. Paramount+ and Showtime were already discounted when the separate services were purchased together as a bundle, as noted by NextTV. However, the latest goes further than a simple streaming bundle as sign-up and content is integrated within a single app.

For the new “bundle” Paramount is offering U.S. subscribers a limited-time promo price for Showtime and Paramount+ of $7.99 per month for its ad-supported Essential Plan and $12.99 per month for its ad-free Premium Plan. The introductory pricing runs through October 2, after which the Essentials plan bundle price jumps to $11.99 per month and $14.99 for the ad-free tier.  Content from the Showtime service will be commercial-free on both Paramount+ tiers.  

In addition to integrated content discovery, users will also be able to curate watchlists to include shows and movies from both Paramount+ and Showtime.

Showtime will still be available separately as a standalone service and through third-party distributors for $10.99 per month. Without Showtime, Paramount+ costs $4.99 per month with limited ads or $9.99 per month for the premium tier.

“The Paramount+ with Showtime bundle offers consumers unprecedented value by providing one of the broadest content libraries in streaming at one of the lowest prices in the marketplace,” said Tom Ryan, president and chief executive officer of Paramount Global Streaming, in a statement. “This singular user experience streamlines sign-up and enhances discovery, and this lower price will allow more households to enjoy this exceptional combined entertainment offering.”

In a separate move this month that could boost bundles, Paramount+ and Walmart inked a deal to include the streamer’s ad-supported plan as part of the retailer’s premium membership offer.

In a recent column for Fierce Video, TVREV lead analyst Alan Wolk said Paramount+ and its mainstream programming is a great fit for Walmart+.

“Not only does this allow [Paramount] to expand your subscriber base while building word of mouth around your new shows, it allows you to greatly expand your advertising base too, especially for streaming, where you can offer ad-supported Paramount+ along with Pluto TV, CBS News and more,” wrote Wolk.

Paramount+ added 4.9 million subscribers in the second quarter, bringing its base to 43.3 million. The company didn’t break out Showtime subscriptions but overall subscribers to its direct-to-consumer services rose to nearly 64 million. Pluto TV, Paramount’s free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) platform, expanded to reach 69.6 million monthly active users as of the end of June.

Recent data from Kantar showed that Paramount’s share of new U.S. SVOD subscriptions in Q2 dropped to 4.9%, a decrease from the 9.1% share it captured in Q1. Showtime was right behind Paramount in terms of share rankings among leading SVOD, though its share stayed flat from Q1-Q2 at 3.8%.

As for media companies integrating subscription content offerings, Warner Bros. Discovery is slated to launch a combined app that merges HBO Max and Discovery+. Details on name and pricing for the service, expected in 2023, haven’t been disclosed.