Constant innovation for premium programming.

Showtime accelerates content velocity in a changing broadcast world with Adobe Creative Cloud.



New York, New York


Increase in promo production while reducing team headcount


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Meet growing demand for content across platforms and affiliates

Maintain quality and branding across all content

Prepare team to quickly adapt to industry changes

Implement innovative technologies and workflows to maintain high content velocity

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40% time savings by using motion graphics templates for promo production

25% decrease in time to market for hundreds of deliverables

35% increase in output while reducing team headcount

Supporting more new scripted content than any time in network history

Whether viewers want to watch high-quality original programming, blockbuster movies, or the biggest boxing matches, Showtime delivers the entertainment that people want. Since the premium network launched in 1976 as a subsidiary of Paramount, Showtime has grown dramatically, winning awards and gaining a strong reputation, particularly for dramas, documentaries, and comedy specials for adult audiences.

In his two-decade career at Showtime, Paul Nicholson, Senior Vice President of Production and Technology, has seen technology solutions come and go as the industry has evolved from cable TV to satellites to streaming. “It’s been amazing to see Showtime continue to grow, with more subscribers, shows, and content every year,” says Nicholson. “The key to success in this changing world is innovation. We have to be constantly on the lookout for new technologies and new ways of accelerating content velocity.”

As a premium network and streamer, Showtime doesn’t run commercials during programming. Instead, breaks between shows are filled with custom promos for upcoming must-see shows. The network also works closely with affiliates to distribute content, from international cable services to major third party streaming platforms such as Apple TV, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Showtime produces all of this promotional content in-house, with the creative and productions teams working on between 600 and 800 deliverables at any given time.

Despite this explosion of demand for content across multiple platforms, Paul hasn't needed to grow his team, which includes print, digital, video, and technology production. Instead, he has been laser-focused on efficiency, automation, and workflow solutions to support greater production output. Standardizing on Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise apps has been a big part of this journey. With the recent addition of game-changing solutions and features such as, Adobe Stock, and motion graphic templates, Showtime is accelerating content production faster than ever.

“We’ve really been challenged to think creatively about how we implement technologies, tool sets, and workflows to stay on top of growing content demands,” says Nicholson. “We saw the opportunity early on to gain greater efficiency with an all-Adobe workflow, and it’s continued to prove its value to this day.”

“With Adobe Creative Cloud, we decreased the time to market for deliverables by about 25%. This has allowed us to increase output of promos by 35% while reducing our overall headcount.”

Paul Nicholson

Senior Vice-President of Production and Technology, Showtime

Increasing content velocity across international platforms

Showtime’s journey to an all-Adobe workflow started ten years ago as part of the company’s aim to maximize production efficiencies. “We did an analysis and found that taking advantage of the integrations between Adobe Creative Cloud apps would help us improve our time to market so that we could create more content and promos for our shows,” explains Nicholson.

Apps such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe InDesign are standards at Showtime for print and static promotions. For promos, Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects, and are core elements of the video production workflow.

Today, Showtime produces more new scripted shows than at any point in the network’s history. Each show or episode needs multiple promos, all in multiple lengths and formats for use within Showtime and its affiliates. This can add up to hundreds of unique spots per marketing campaign.

“With Adobe Creative Cloud, we decreased the time to market for deliverables by about 25%,” says Nicholson. “This allows us to increase output of promos by 35% while reducing our overall headcount. Our creative team now spends more time focused on generating the next big idea or concept, while the production team can improve focus on quality, accuracy, and delivery as we touch more promotional platforms.”

“ is the most elegant video collaboration solution around. It’s changed our ability to keep up with content velocity because it makes communication so clear.”

Paul Nicholson

Senior Vice-President of Production and Technology, Showtime

Innovations in workflow efficiency

Showtime divides its editing workflow between multiple groups, which speeds asset production and makes the best use of the team's resources. Editors create the promos in Premiere Pro, which are then reviewed and approved in Once final, the promos are handed off to the post-production services team for versioning and distribution.

“ is the most elegant video collaboration solution around,” says Nicholson. “It’s changed our ability to keep up with content velocity because it makes communication so clear.” and Premiere Pro have changed how video reviews and approvals are handled. Promos often go through multiple reviews to check for content that needs to be filtered for different regions or platforms. Showtime originally used a homegrown system based around email to pass video between stakeholders and collect notes.

Now, provides a single platform for stakeholders to collaboratively review video anytime and anywhere. They can add comments directly to the video for clear and precise feedback. Showtime even used the REST APIs to customize how team members interact with the tool, creating a custom interface that enables everyone from creative personnel to business users to easily share and distribute their video for review and approval.

Accelerating version creation with templates

One of the biggest game-changers for the team’s workflow came with the addition of motion graphics templates (MOGRTs). Graphics artists previously customized motion graphics for every version of every promo, adding in affiliate branding, broadcast times, and other important information for each version. With MOGRTs, editors can swap out graphics themselves as they work in Premiere Pro, freeing up time for the graphics artists to develop new creative content instead of iterating on versions. Showtime was an early adopter of MOGRTs, sharing valuable feedback with the Adobe product team to help them refine the functionality.

“We’ve easily seen a time savings of more than 40% by using MOGRTs versus manually creating them like we did in the past,” says Nicholson. “This has been particularly helpful during our recent brand refresh. By relying on MOGRTs, we can promote brand consistency for graphics used in promos for Showtime shows around the world.”

Showtime creatives also take advantage of Adobe Stock, pulling videos and stills for use with promotions or as b-roll in original documentaries.

“A really unique feature in Adobe Stock is how it’s embedded into the Adobe Creative Cloud apps where creative people spend their time,” says Nicholson. “They don’t need to break their concentration by leaving their work to hunt for something on the internet. And the Adobe Sensei smart search capabilities make it so much faster to find relevant content. It’s really a great solution.”

“Adobe Creative Cloud has always played a big role in our journey to innovate and entertain viewers across any platform.”

Paul Nicholson

Senior Vice-President of Production and Technology, Showtime

Staying a step ahead because of technology

Showtime’s commitment to innovation paid off when the Covid-19 pandemic threatened to halt production. With just a 24-hour warning, the creative and production teams needed to start working from home. “Our approach has always been to be one step ahead, so we had already implemented a lot of great technologies and workflows that were very adaptable to a remote workforce,” says Nicholson. “We continue to look for ways of making the hybrid work-life more consistent for our creative and production teams.”

Nicholson is excited to see how Adobe apps will continue to support their agile and hybrid approach to content creation, and they're continuing to innovate with new solutions. Showtime is looking at using Adobe Workfront for seamless workflow management. They'll also start taking advantage of's Camera to Cloud (C2C) technology to deliver proxies the moment cameras stop filming. Not only will this workflow give editors immediate access to content, it will also reduce the need for so many stakeholders on set, as the takes can be viewed from anywhere within moments of being captured.

“We’re constantly trying to predict what the next opportunity will be, and how we’re going to address it,” says Nicholson. “There have been times we’ve seen where the industry is going, and we started preparing our teams for new technologies months before even thinking about implementation. Adobe Creative Cloud has always played a big role in our journey to innovate and entertain viewers across any platform.”

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