Paramount+ to increase prices for its streaming plans

Paramount Global is hiking the price of its flagship streaming service as the company looks to turn around its business.

The company said Monday it will raise the price of the Paramount+ with Showtime plan by $1 to $12.99 a month, and the price of its Paramount+ Essential option will increase by $2 to $7.99 a month for all new subscribers.

The price increase takes effect on Aug. 20 for new customers for both plans. Existing Paramount+ with Showtime customers will see the price increase hit on or after Sept. 20. Existing Paramount+ Essential customers — who don’t receive Showtime content — won’t pay more for their plans.

The price of the limited Paramount+ commercial option will also increase by $1 to $7.99 for current customers.

More media companies have increased streaming prices as they look to make a profit on the cash-losing business. Paramount executives had said publicly on multiple occasions they see a lot of opportunities to increase the price of streaming services.

Comcast’s NBCUniversal said it would raise prices for Peacock in July, ahead of the Summer Olympics, which will air exclusively on the NBC broadcast network and Peacock. It will be Peacock’s second price increase in the last year.

Earlier this month, Warner Bros. Discovery announced it would increase the cost of its Max streaming service.

Paramount had combined the Showtime and Paramount+ platforms last year in a push to condense content spending, which has become a particular focus for media companies. The company increased Paramount+ prices late last year, too.

Paramount said in April it had added 3.7 million Paramount+ subscribers during the first quarter, bringing the total to 71 million. However, like most of its media peers, Paramount posted losses related to its streaming service. The company said the losses narrowed to $286 million, compared with losses of $511 million during the same quarter last year.

The price increase comes after National Amusements earlier this month stopped discussions with Skydance on a proposed merger with Paramount. National Amusements, which is owned by Shari Redstone, the controlling shareholder of Paramount, had previously agreed to economic terms of a merger with a consortium including David Ellison’s Skydance, before ending the deal talks.

The company is now being led by a trio of leaders, called the “Office of the CEO,” made up of CBS CEO George Cheeks, Paramount Media Networks CEO Chris McCarthy and Paramount Pictures CEO Brian Robbins.

The three leaders recently laid out their plan to turn around the company at Paramount’s annual shareholder meeting, in the event the deal with Skydance didn’t go through.

The strategic priorities — with an eye toward lowering Paramount’s debt — included exploring streaming joint venture opportunities with other media companies and eliminating $500 million in costs, as well as divesting noncore assets.

The trio said they would unveil further plans during Paramount’s earnings report in August.

— Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC.

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