Paramount is preparing to raise prices again, and according to Chief Executive Bob Bakish, it won’t be the last.
“Our plan is to raise prices again – this isn’t our only price increase,” said Bakish at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia + Technology conference on Wednesday. He added, “Whether we do that in ’25 or ’24, we’ll see,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Paramount+ with Showtime saw a price increase before its June debut date from $9.99 to $11.99 a month. Bakish said this didn’t decrease subscriber growth or increase subscriber turnover, which “proves that we have pricing power in the marketplace, given the content we’re bringing to bear on the platform.”
Bakish’s sentiment reflects the reality that the prices for streaming services continue to rise even as consumers are starting to look at free ad-supported alternatives like Pluto TV (also owned by Paramount) and Tubi. It also echoes the comments from Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, who similarly said he wants to raise prices and argued the price of premium content is still relatively low.
Showtime’s catalog hosts several fan-favorite series and films such as Yellowjackets, Shameless, and Dexter. When the app shuts down at the end of this year, Paramount+ with Showtime will be the only way to keep streaming those programs. Paramount members can watch through pay TV services or streaming.
“There’s a lot of room to run here,” said Bakish, acknowledging Paramount’s leverage regarding setting prices.
In August, Paramount reported that its streaming businesses – Paramount+ and Pluto TV, lost $424 million in the second quarter. That was an improvement over a loss of $445 million a year ago, but still a heavy anchor on the company. Bakish also predicted 2024 “will be a year of significant streaming loss improvements” as investments peak.
Bakish said Paramount will continue to cement partnerships with key distributors as more people turn away from traditional cable packages and move to streaming services.
“We have co-marketing agreements with every major distributor for streaming products,” he said. “It gives them an incentive to transition and ride that migration in consumer behavior.” He said such agreements are a “natural evolution of the business” and wagers offering Paramount on both streaming and cable will grow its linear television share more versus competing cable providers.