Streaming media is a big business these days. Everyone has a streaming service, and some companies have more than one. As competition heats up in the space, we're beginning to see consolidation for companies that have more than one streaming platform. HBO Max and Discovery+ are about to become one service and Disney has said that Hulu and Disney+ will likely become a single offering. Now, Paramount has seemingly decided that it can no longer support more than one service and will merge them into a single offering.
Paramount+ and its iterations
When Paramount+ first launched it was called CBS All Access. The branding emphasized what the company believed to be its biggest intellectual property - CBS. However, they failed to realize that CBS has a particular brand image: a network with programming for older people. So, when people heard about CBS All Access, they did not think that it was a service for them, so they skipped it. Then, when they finally started gaining some traction, the company botched the Super Bowl stream. With that, CBS All Access was as good as dead.
After CBS and Viacom merged (again), the newly formed brand decided that rebranding the service was a good idea. They decided to go with Paramount+, emphasizing the media brand that people actually associate with quality content - Paramount.
Paramount+ and Showtime
In addition to Paramount+, the new company also had another service under its control: Showtime. Showtime has always been a well-known content company, but the streaming service has suffered some. This is partly because of a lack of content available on the service and also a lack of marketing that the service even existed. Recently, the company has decided to put more resources behind Showtime and it has led to a decision: one service.
According to a report about an internal memo, the company has decided to ditch competing service and merge them into a single service called Paramount+ with SHOWTIME. The new service will contain content from both brands under one roof, and with a single subscription fee. Of course, it does also come along with another unfortunate name.
What it doesn't come along with is a lot of surprise. Last year, the company offered a bundle of the two services and even made it possible to watch Showtime content through the Paramount+ application, so long as you're a subscriber.
In another leaked internal meme, Paramount President Chris McCarthy said that the company will also "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." He followed up by saying,
To do this, we will divert investment away from areas which 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.
This means that there is some content that will not be moving forward. Two active shows will not see a second season: Let the Right One In and American Gigolo. Another project, the series Three Women will not be coming to Showtime, even though the first season has finished filming. The company will likely show the series around to other networks to try and offload it.
CEO Bob Bakish recognizes that the move is going to be hard for some people and there will likely be backlash. Any time uncertainty shows up in the entertainment industry, people start to worry about their jobs and their favorite shows. He said,
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.