Paramount Global is reportedly now considering shutting down the standalone Showtime streaming service in favor of focusing more solely on Paramount Plus. Over the years, the number of streaming services available has increased considerably, and to the point where there just might not be enough space for a standalone Showtime service to exist.
While Paramount Plus and Showtime are separate services, the differences between them have been shrinking recently. For example, Paramount has been offering the option to bundle the two services together for some time now, and even more recently, the bundling stepped up to the next level with the introduction of Showtime content within the Paramount Plus app. Prior to this change, bundle customers still had to download and sign in to both apps separately.
However, it now looks like conversations are ongoing within Paramount as to whether it makes more sense to just discontinue Showtime altogether and move all of the Showtime content over to the Paramount Plus app. The information on this comes from the Wall Street Journal which credits “people familiar with the situation” for the information. According to the report, the discussions are still at an early stage so it doesn’t appear to be something that’s likely to happen soon, if it does at all.
In terms of the logic behind the move, the report suggests that it is simply becoming too difficult for services like Showtime to exist on their own due to the increased choice now available to consumers. By merging the two services together, it is also possible that Paramount will be able to cut some of the costs associated with maintaining the streaming services.
While it remains to be seen whether Showtime will be discontinued and all of its content shifted over to Paramount Plus, it wouldn’t be totally surprising if it does happen. HBO Max and Discovery Plus are already in the process of merging, and it is likely other companies that own multiple streaming services are having similar discussions. Of course, the situation is a little more complicated with Showtime due to the various service agreements with pay-TV providers. Something which would need to be sorted out before any firm decision or announcement on merging Showtime and Paramount Plus is made.