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Paramount Plus sees a price hike in its future

Paramount Plus sees a price hike in its future


Your streaming Star Trek app could get more expensive now that Paramount’s CFO says there are ‘opportunities to increase price on Paramount Plus’

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Paramount Plus logo on a blue and black background
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Paramount chief financial officer Naveen Chopra said on an earnings call Wednesday that the company sees “opportunities to increase price on Paramount Plus” and that we’ll see it “do that in the future.” The ad-supported version of Paramount Plus currently costs $4.99 per month (or $49.99 per year), while the commercial-free Premium plan costs $9.99 per month (or $99.99 per year).

If the service does end up raising its price in the US, it won’t be alone. Apple TV Plus just increased its price from $4.99 to $6.99 per month, while Hulu went up from $6.99 to $7.99 per month for its ad-supported plan and jumped from $12.99 to $14.99 per month for its ad-free plan.

Netflix raised prices earlier this year ahead of the launch of its new $6.99 per month ad-supported plan, while Disney Plus and ESPN Plus had recent price hikes as well.

“I think it’s fair to say that pricing is moving higher across the industry — you see that with a number of competing services,” Chopra explains. “We think that means we have room to increase price.” Chopra also hinted at increasing prices by tier while allowing the ad-supported plan to “continue to serve price-sensitive users.” Paramount recently raised the price of its commercial-free plan from $5.99 CAD to $9.99 CAD per month in Canada.

Outside of a potential price increase, Paramount’s earnings report (pdf) revealed its Plus streaming service added 4.6 million subscribers this quarter, bringing its total global subscribers to 46 million.

Meanwhile, Paramount’s free streaming platform Pluto TV saw some growth, too. The streaming service grew to 72 million monthly active users globally and saw a “double-digit” increase in viewing hours. Paramount says Pluto TV also became the first free, ad-supported service to “represent a significant enough portion of TV viewing” to be featured in Nielsen’s monthly TV viewing Gauge report.

Paramount Plus says it lost 1.9 million global subscribers as part of the launch of SkyShowtime in the Nordics that replaced the streaming service in the region, but the launch of the service in France, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland on December 8th should offset this next quarter.

Paramount Plus links the overall increase in subscribers to its growing library of content, which includes popular series like Halo and Yellowstone. It also credits some of the NFL games it airs through CBS, as well as the UEFA soccer games it offers on the platform.

Going forward, Paramount expects the addition of Top Gun: Maverick to its streaming service later this year to be a “driver of subscribers” as well. The company also launched a partnership with Walmart in September that gives Walmart Plus subscribers free access to the ad-supported Paramount Plus plan. Paramount CEO Bob Bakish says the partnership is “off to an excellent start” so far.