Streaming prices are going to keep increasing, according to one prominent media executive.
“Streaming pricing is going to go up,” Paramount (PARA) CEO Bob Bakish warned during Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit, adding that consumers will likely absorb the cost increases since “streaming represents an extraordinary value in general for the consumer.”
Bakish highlighted the recent price hikes of competitors like Netflix (NFLX), which last boosted monthly prices in January, as well as Disney (DIS), which announced price increases across its various streaming properties in August.
He added that Paramount+ — a value offering compared to other platforms — won’t maintain its $9.99 premium price point forever.
“The price umbrella on streaming will go up and we’ll tuck in under that and we will raise prices as well,” Bakish said. “I can’t tell you exactly when that will happen, but directionally, it’s going to happen for sure.”
Bakish added that there are a variety of factors that would influence Paramount’s decision to raise prices.
“We look at the performance of our product with our consumers,” he explained. “We look at what competitors are doing. We obviously look at what’s going on outside of streaming — all of that gets factored into our decision-making and our course of action for streaming and the business at large.”
‘Broader is better’
Paramount+, which boasts 43.3 million users out of the company’s total 64 million streaming subscribers, carries a $4.99 price tag for its ad-supported service and $9.99 for ad-free.
In August, the company let subscribers upgrade their current plan to a Showtime bundle that allowed users to watch both services on one integrated platform. (Paramount had previously offered a price bundle, but consumers had to access each service on separate, individual platforms.)
Following a brief promotional period that ended on October 2, the single app combination is now available for $11.99/month for ad-supported and $14.99/month for ad-free.
Bakish noted that the company is closely monitoring the performance of those various bundled offerings, especially amid recent reports that the media giant is weighing shutting down its Showtime standalone service and folding that content into Paramount+.
“We’re focused on developing a compelling consumer proposition and, by extension, a compelling distributor proposition,” Bakish said when asked about the Showtime report, doubling down that “broader is better” when it comes to streaming.
“How do we make a more compelling consumer proposition?” he continued. “And how does that aid in getting distributors even more behind our product? We’re looking at optionality.”
The CEO concluded that “I don’t know exactly where it’s going to go, but I can tell you that our product will continue to get stronger, it’ll continue to evolve, and that’ll bring down churn and grow the [subscriber] base.”
Alexandra is a Senior Entertainment and Food Reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alliecanal8193 and email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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