Today, CBSViacom unveiled Paramount Plus, its previously touted streaming service, which will succeed the existing CBS All Access streamer and expand its offering of films and TV shows. A number of original projects have also been announced for the service.
The service will be released in the US in early 2021. International launches in Australia, Latin America and the Nordic countries are planned for the next year. In fact, the service is being labeled as “global,” which suggests that customers in the UK will see a version of it at some point. Paramount Plus is already available in some international areas.
Paramount Plus will offer existing content from CBS All Access such as the Star Trek series and the remake The Twilight Zone, but will also bring together content from its parent company̵
News and live sports will be part of the overall Paramount Plus offering, dubbed the “Mountain of Entertainment” (because the logo, as you know, is a mountain). It’s a game book similar to the recent Peacock launch.
The original series that you can find on Paramount Plus sounds varied and in some cases exciting. Paramount draws on its existing characteristics to arouse interest: Miniseries with 10 episodes The offer is about the making of The Godfather, based on how producer Al Ruddy experienced the making of Francis Ford Coppola’s classic.
MTV’s Behind The Music will return in the form of The Top 40, focusing on the 40 greatest music acts of all time. A true crime series called The Real Criminal Minds is also in the works, along with a revival of long-running BET comedy The Game.
Finally – and the most exciting project if you ask us – writer / director Taylor Sheridan (Wind River, Yellowstone, Sicario) is creating a spy drama called Lioness. It’s about a Marine enlisted by the CIA to overthrow a terrorist organization by becoming friends with the daughter of a prime target.
A new SpongeBob SquarePants series called Kamp Koral will be part of the mix as well as the premiere of the SpongeBob SquarePants movie in 2021. All of this in addition to the projects of CBS All Access, like the upcoming miniseries Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and The Stand.
The total amount of content will include more than 30,000 episodes and films. What the price will be for new and existing customers has not yet been announced, although CBS All Access in the US currently costs $ 5.99 per month with ads and $ 9.99 without ads. (A similar price worldwide would convert to around $ 4.70 / AU $ 8.20 per month with ads and £ 7.60 / AU $ 13.70 per month without ads if the price tiers actually followed the same model as before. )
Our quick reception
Since CBS All Access has been around for a while, Paramount Plus isn’t starting from scratch like it did with the recent Peacock launch. In fact, its situation is comparable to that of HBO Max, which was launched on the basis of an existing streaming offering and was supported with new content to expand its audience.
The Paramount Plus name may be better known outside of the US – in the UK, for example, CBS is not a network like the US. However, the word “Paramount” doesn’t conjure up the same clear brand identity as “Disney Plus”.
We also can’t help but wonder if ViacomCBS could have saved some of its better content for this launch. The announcement mentions content from Comedy Central will be part of the offering – but it wasn’t until less than a year ago that a deal was made to license South Park exclusively to HBO Max.
23 seasons of South Park would certainly have caused a sensation at this launch? Likewise, the rights to Paramount Network’s hugely popular show Yellowstone are currently owned by the Peacock streaming service.