Goodbye, Showtime. Hello, Paramount+ With Showtime.
The premium television network is getting its first name change in the channel’s 47-year history, Paramount Global boss Bob Bakish announced to staff Monday. The change, a nod to the company’s continued evolution as it adapts to the rapidly changing media landscape, will take effect later this year and be across both linear and streaming.
It’s the latest example of the furious arms race within the industry as companies swallow others and/or merge portfolios to grow their streaming platforms in hopes of battling others for subscriptions. Merging Showtime and Parmount+ on streaming will be a far more compelling offering to consumers versus trying to convince them to subscribe to each service separately.
“With Showtime’s content integrated into our flagship streaming service … 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,” Bakish wrote in his memo.
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The integration efforts will almost certainly result in layoffs at the company as synergy efforts get underway — an unfortunate reality that Bakish alluded to in his memo.
“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,” Bakish said. “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.”
The move also signals that customers can expect a far more tailored offering from Showtime. The network’s boss, Chris McCarthy, told staffers that the channel “will divert investment away from areas which are underperforming and that account for less than 10% of our views.”
Which is to say that Showtime will focus on its hits, such as “Yellowjackets,” while no longer being as ambitious in experimenting with other material.
On Monday that was quite apparent. Showtime canceled “Let the Right One In” and “American Gigolo,” while also choosing not to move forward with “Three Women.”