Showtime is being integrated into Paramount+ across both linear and streaming platforms, resulting in a rebranding of the pay TV channel to “Paramount+ With Showtime.”
The updated offerings and Showtime name change will launch later in 2023, and only affect the premium tier of Paramount+ and the Showtime linear network in the U.S. Parent company Paramount Global sees the rebrand as a way to integrate streaming and linear content to the fullest extent within the company, at a time of much internal reorganization and macro-economic uncertainty across the industry.
“Now, with SHOWTIME’s content integrated into our flagship streaming service, and select Paramount+ originals joining the linear offering, Paramount+ will become the definitive multiplatform brand in the streaming space — and the first of its kind to integrate streaming and linear content in this way,” Paramount CEO Bob Bakish said in a memo to staff Monday. “This new combined offering demonstrates how we can leverage our entire collection of content to drive deeper connections with consumers and greater value for our distribution partnersThis change will also drive stronger alignment across our domestic and international Paramount+ offerings, as international Paramount+ already includes Showtime content. And, very importantly, this integration will unlock operational efficiencies and financial benefits across our broader portfolio.”
President and CEO of Showtime and Paramount Media Networks Chris McCarthy, who recently expanded his oversight to Showtime following the exit of longtime exec David Nevins, added in his own memo to staff: “As a part of Paramount+, we can put more resources into building out the lanes that have made the SHOWTIME brand famous, as well as turning our hit shows into global hit franchises. To do this, we will divert investment away from areas that are underperforming and that account for less than 10% of our views. We have already begun conversations with our production partners about what content makes sense moving forward and which shows have franchise potential.”
Some of these projects got the ax as the news of the rebrand broke Monday, with the cancellations of “Let the Right One In” and “American Giglio,” and the scrapping of upcoming Shailene Woodley-led drama “Three Women,” which is being shopped to other platforms.
The folding of Showtime into Paramount+ ahead of the launch of “Paramount+ With Showtime” is expected to create cost synergies within all of Paramount Global in the hopes of increasing revenue as fears of a looming recession mount. That means layoffs are on the horizon, though no specific details have been given regarding consolidating teams.
See Bakish’s note below.
Almost one year ago, we announced that ViacomCBS would become Paramount — harnessing the power of our combined portfolio to become one, integrated company. Since then, I have been tremendously proud of the many ways we have worked together across platforms, brands, and continents to consistently deliver as global leaders in the future of entertainment.
In that same spirit, I’m thrilled to share the next step in our company’s evolution. Today, we’re announcing that we will be fully integrating SHOWTIME into Paramount+ across both streaming and linear platforms later this year — providing even more popular franchises and hit originals for viewers to enjoy. To reflect this change, both our premium streaming tier on Paramount+ and the SHOWTIME linear network will become “Paramount+ with SHOWTIME” in the U.S.
SHOWTIME has captivated audiences for decades with ambitious original series that defined premium content and fandom. Its name will always stand for critically acclaimed, groundbreaking entertainment and creative excellence. Now, with SHOWTIME’s content integrated into our flagship streaming service, and select Paramount+ originals joining the linear offering, Paramount+ will become the definitive multiplatform brand in the streaming space — and the first of its kind to integrate streaming and linear content in this way.
This new combined offering demonstrates how we can leverage our entire collection of content to drive deeper connections with consumers and greater value for our distribution partners. This change will also drive stronger alignment across our domestic and international Paramount+ offerings, as international Paramount+ already includes Showtime content. And, very importantly, this integration will unlock operational efficiencies and financial benefits across our broader portfolio.
Chris McCarthy will continue to lead the SHOWTIME studio and oversee network operations for the linear channel. In tandem, he will work closely with Tom Ryan, who will oversee the “Paramount+ with SHOWTIME” streaming business.
While we are confident this is the right move for our company, our consumers, and our partners, we know this change brings uncertainty for the teams working on these brands and businesses. We are committed to being as transparent and thoughtful as possible throughout this process, and we expect to share additional details in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, I would ask for your continued focus. Because of your hard work, dedication and collaboration, Paramount+ with SHOWTIME is set up for success. Thank you, as always, for all that you do.
See the memo written by McCarthy here.
I wanted to follow up on the great news Bob just shared about the further integration of SHOWTIME and Paramount+ to create one powerful streaming service, and explain why I am so excited about this big step forward.
There are many benefits for Paramount+ and SHOWTIME on both the streaming and network sides, in three key areas:
● Complementary and Differentiated Brands
● Redirecting Increased Investment into SHOWTIME Strengths
● Integrated Platform – Greater Focus on Content
I am sure you will have lots of questions, and to that end we are planning a Town Hall in L.A. the week of February 23 to go into the details and the highlights, which include:
Complimentary and Differentiated Brands
The SHOWTIME brand has always attracted audiences that prefer content that has more edge and more mature themes, and that focuses on complicated characters and layered worlds. SHOWTIME content appeals to metro-minded viewers that are more culturally diverse with a higher concentration living in cities vs. the population at large. These audiences and themes are complementary to the Paramount+ brand, which is much broader, appealing to the entire family and general market audiences across the country.
Redirecting Investment into SHOWTIME Strengths
As a part of Paramount+, we can put more resources into building out the lanes that have made the SHOWTIME brand famous, as well as turning our hit shows into global hit franchises. To do this, we will divert investment away from areas that are underperforming and that account for less than 10% of our views. We have already begun conversations with our production partners about what content makes sense moving forward and which shows have franchise potential.
As a reminder the SHOWTIME brand strengths and content filters are:
● Complex Characters: Subversive antiheroes like DEXTER, YOUR HONOR and YELLOWJACKETS
● Powerful-Worlds: High-stakes powerful worlds like BILLIONS and HOMELAND
● Metro-Cultures: Culturally diverse takes like: THE CHI and the forthcoming FELLOW TRAVELERS.
Integrated Platforms – Greater Focus on Content
Now that SHOWTIME and our content will be integrated as the premium tier of Paramount+, we will reach more people globally across streaming and linear than ever before. On the network side, this will strengthen our offering to those consumers by allowing us to tap into Paramount+ originals in addition to the SHOWTIME originals, as well as Paramount Pictures movies that come to the services.
This is a winning strategy that provides more value to our streaming customers and more reasons for cable subscribers to upgrade to the soon-to-be-rebranded Paramount+ with SHOWTIME network. Most important it allows us to put more of our focus on the things that make the SHOWTIME brand famous: our hit content.
More to come soon but for now, thank you for your help as we work hard together to make Paramount+ with SHOWTIME one of the leading global streaming services!
And see the memo from Paramount’s president and CEO of streaming Tom Ryan to his team below.
To follow Bob’s note, I want to share my enthusiasm for what this means for Paramount+.
For the last two years, we have been building a truly differentiated brand in the streaming space. We’ve been laser focused on accelerating our business and bolstering our unique content mix, and we’ve had some great wins. And, as you know, it’s paying off: we’ve solidified ourselves as the fastest-growing streaming service in the U.S., leading the industry in U.S. sign-ups and gross subscriber additions.
By further integrating SHOWTIME into Paramount+, we will now be able to deliver a seamless, fully integrated multiplatform premium service to our consumers with more of the original, culture-shaping content they love. This enhanced offering serves our audiences and our creative partners – with an even greater ability to scale our franchises and build hits across the Paramount+ universe in linear and streaming.
Chris and I are working closely together to ensure our teams are set up to best deliver on the enormous potential of this new offering. While there are still many details to be worked out, we will need to continue to be nimble, creative and – above all – collaborative. I will be in touch with additional information over the coming weeks.
As always, thank you all for your hard work and dedication to making Paramount+ the best it can be.