Paramount+ Price Hike Incoming, Following The Lead Of Other Streaming Services

During the Paramount earnings call that occurred on February 16, 2023, the company's chief financial officer Naveen Chopra announced a price increase across both the essential plan and premium programming offers on Paramount+.

Currently, the prices are $4.99 per month for the essentials plan that includes ads, and won't make available the Showtime programming that is being integrated onto the platform. The premium plan currently stands at $9.99 per month, and excludes the ad content that basic users must work with to take advantage of the lower price point.

CEO of Paramount Bob Bakish noted that the price increase will apply to all U.S. users and a select group of international markets, although the specifics haven't yet been revealed. Paramount has been involved in the production of a raft of fantastic titles over the years. 

On Paramount+, viewers can stream heavyweights like "Interstellar," "Top Gun: Maverick" and "Top Gun," the "Indiana Jones" franchise, and "Django Unchained," to mention a few. In the TV series category, Paramount+ makes "The Amazing Race," "The Daily Show," "Seal Team," and a variety of "Star Trek" and "CSI" titles available. The platform also streams "Halo," which adapts the storyline of one of the most popular game series ever created.

A merger of the existing Paramount+ and Showtime libraries spurs the change

The change will see the basic ad-supported plan rise by a dollar to $5.99 per month, and the premium package will boost by two dollars to $11.99 per month. Included with the premium plan will be access to the Showtime streaming catalog as well. The basic plan will still include ads, and won't grant access to this expanded library. The Showtime catalog includes titles like "Dexter," "Homeland," "Ray Donovan," and "Californication."

The price increase will take effect in the third quarter of 2023, so users won't see a change to their bill for another six months. Paramount executives made it clear that these changes will accompany the "launch of the integrated service," alongside a name change to "Paramount Plus with Showtime." Paramount also estimated its existing price point as being "on the value end of the pricing spectrum." At $4.99 per month, this is certainly the case, but the $10 price tag of the premium package (compared to streaming service offerings elsewhere) rivals competitors' rates. The premium plan from Paramount+, however, allows users to watch livestreams of their local CBS station, including sports events.

The shift comes amid competitor price increases

Paramount+ is raising prices alongside many of its competitors. Netflix, Disney Plus, HBO Max, and Hulu all raised prices in 2022, and Amazon Prime (including the integrated music and video streaming services) also saw a bump in user cost. 

However, Netflix saw a dramatic loss of viewers in the first half of 2022, with 25% of those shedding the expense citing the rising cost of service as the primary reason for their decision, according to research by Similarly, Disney reported in its 2022 fourth quarter earnings call that the service had lost 2.4 million subscribers — the first decline in viewership for the platform.

However, Paramount has recently touted explosive growth among its user base. There are currently 56 million Paramount+ subscribers, and the platform enjoyed the biggest single quarter growth among the entire industry in early 2023 (9.9 million new subscriptions). Paramount has enjoyed an 81% increase in revenue during the last year, as well. The brand clearly sees an opportunity to capitalize on trending good fortune.