Paramount+ hits 32.8 million subscribers; will offer Showtime for a fee

It will soon become the exclusive home to Paramount movies.

Toy figures of people are seen in front of the displayed Paramount + logo, in this illustration taken January 20, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration (Dado Ruvic / reuters)

A lot is changing at ViacomCBS — which changed its name today to Paramount Global. In an investor presentation on Tuesday, the company announced that its streaming service, Paramount+ (formerly known as CBS All Access), hit 32.8 million subscribers during the last quarter of 2021. It’s a notable milestone for the platform, placing it ahead of Peacock (9 million paid subscribers), as well as other smaller platforms like ESPN+ (17 million subscribers) and Discovery+ (20 million subscribers).

That growth seems to be leading the company to consolidate some of its streaming offerings, specifically the now 12-year-old Showtime Anywhere service. Existing Paramount+ subscribers will soon be able to watch Showtime on the app itself, albeit for an extra fee. Instead of paying for Showtime’s standalone streaming app (which is $10.99 a month), users can bundle Paramount and Showtime together, for either $12 a month, or $15 a month for the ad-free tier. “Within Paramount+, it will be seamless to sign up for Showtime, and easier than ever to discover great shows. 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,” Tom Ryan, head of streaming at Paramount, said today.

While it’s unclear how badly the world needed another way to subscribe to Showtime (you can currently purchase access as an add-on service through Apple TV+, Hulu, Prime Video, SlingTV and virtually every other OTT platform), it’s not a bad deal for existing Paramount subscribers. A spokesperson for Paramount told Engadget there are currently no plans to sunset Showtime Anywhere.

Another lure for Paramount+ subscribers is that the app will soon be the exclusive home for all Paramount movies, beginning in 2024. It’s not a surprising move, given that all the streaming platforms are gobbling up exclusive content in order to gain an edge. Netflix’s growth rate is slowing, which may be a positive sign for the competition. But there’s no sure formula for success in streaming. Streaming subscribers are notoriously fickle, and having a hit show or two is not a guaranteed path to returning customers. The new exclusivity deal and bundle with Showtime at least ensures that Paramount+ will have a steady stream of new content to keep existing viewers happy.