Who would’ve thought the first victims of the streaming wars would be platforms getting killed off by their own owners? We thought Disney would break into Netflix’s headquarters and run out with bags of Stranger Things, not that Warner Bros. Discovery would try to save money by combining HBO Max with a worse streaming service. And we might eventually see another “hey, I’m on your team!” streaming service casualty before too long.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Paramount is thinking about shuttering Showtime’s dedicated streaming platform (its HBO Go equivalent, basically) and dumping all of its content on to Paramount+. Now, this may seem like a shock, but unlike everything happening with HBO Max, this actually seems to… make sense. With so many streaming platforms fighting for money and attention, why keep one alive when it’s not really known for a specific identity and when its content would go a long way toward bolstering the library of a different streaming service owned by the same company? (Disney: Do not take this as an argument to kill Hulu. We like Hulu.)
The issue, and the thing Paramount needs to figure out before it can make any movement on this, is that Showtime’s existing streaming app exists because of “the nature of Showtime’s agreements with cable and satellite TV providers” in the U.S. (other countries already have some Showtime content on Paramount+). Undoing that would require “complex negotiations” with the TV providers that offer Showtime packages, and Paramount is thinking about what kind of “incentives” it could offer to these companies to make this shift more palatable to them.
So what does this mean for us regular people? Well, if you’re a dedicated Paramount+ user, it’s probably good news. You might get Yellowjackets at some point! If you’re a dedicated Showtime subscriber, though, you might get screwed in the long run and have to pay for a difference service in order to watch Yellowjackets. But if you’re a regular person who happens to have a financial stake in any of this, you’re in the best position of all: The profits will keep going up forever and you’ll never die! Hooray!