Oh Splendid, Paramount+ Is Raising Its Streaming Prices Again To Pay Off Debts

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Watching shows like Tulsa King and Star Trek is about to get more expensive. For a brief, shining moment, content owners almost defeated piracy. Instead of bringing the content to where people were streaming, popular movies and TV series have become increasingly siloed in various streaming platforms, each of which come with a monthly fee. That might not be so bad were it not for the constant price increases—Max and Peacock both boosted prices recently, and now it's Paramount's turn.

The basic Paramount+ subscription used to cost $6 per month, but it's going up to $8. Meanwhile, the top-of-the-line subscription with Showtime is going up a buck, from $12 to $13. Anyone signing up for Paramount+ after Aug 20 will be subject to the new rate. If you already pay for Paramount+, there is some good news. All customers will get another month before the new rates go into effect on Sep 20. If you're on the base Essential plan, Paramount Global won't raise your price at all—at least for now.

According to Reuters, Paramount Global is looking to scrape together more cash. Leadership says the company needs to pay off debts, so it's working to lower streaming costs and increase revenue. Most of the company's revenue still comes from traditional television, which has been shrinking for years. Streaming was initially seen as a way to plug the revenue hole, but Paramount Global is learning that it's pretty costly to run its own streaming platform.

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The company has been trying to sell off Paramount+ for months without success. It has reported a healthy 71 million paying subscribers, which dwarfs NBC-Universal's Peacock with its 30 million customers. Both are running far behind Netflix, with about 270 million customers. Warner Bros Discovery, which runs the Max service (formerly HBO Max), almost acquired Peacock, but the deal fell through earlier this year. Sony and Skydance were also seen as possible suitors, but nothing has stuck.

Despite the large user base, Paramount+ is still losing money. The bulked up subscription fees will help close the gap, but this is the second price increase in as many years. Paramount's apparent success is tied to the low cost of the Essential plan. With each price bump, it loses more of that advantage.