Yet another major streaming service is gearing up to enter the marketplace. ViacomCBS has announced the release date for Paramount+, which will be taking the place of CBS All Access when it launches this March. The service will debut on Thursday, March 4 in the U.S. and will become the new streaming home for brands like Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central and BET, in addition to CBS.
ViacomCBS will, additionally, bring Paramount+ to international markets beginning with Latin America on March 4, 2021. It will then expand to the Nordics on March 25, 2021, and Australia in mid-2021. The CBS All Access service in Canada will be rebranded to Paramount+ on March 4, 2021, and an expanded offering will be available later in the year. This will give the massive corporation a more direct competitor in the streaming game to take on the likes of Netflix, Disney+, Peacock and HBO Max, among many others. It also means that consumers may have to make some more difficult decisions about how to spend their money, as this will surely mean more exclusivity with major shows and movies in the near future.
As far as pricing goes, CBS All Access currently costs $5.99 per month with ads and $9.99 per month without ads. The prices are not expected to change once Paramount+ rolls out. What remains unclear is what the original programming side of Paramount+ will look like. But with brands like Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central to pull from, there is plenty to work with. This could become the exclusive home to Spongebob, for example.
The company will host an investor event and issue fourth quarter and full-year financial results on February 24. The presentation, it is promised, will deliver a “comprehensive overview of the company’s streaming strategy, including Paramount+, Pluto TV, and Showtime OTT.” So we should be learning a whole lot more, in terms of what to expect, at that time.
The streaming landscape has already become splintered a great deal over the last year. HBO Max and Peacock both launched in 2020, and Disney+ amassed more than 80 million subscribers in its first year. Apple TV+ hasn’t made as big of an impact on that front but they have made some splashy content acquisitions, such as Bill Murray’s On the Rocks and the Tom Hanks World War II movie Greyhound. Consumers also have Amazon and Hulu to consider, not to mention more niche services like Shudder and The Criterion Collection. Paramount+ will have a steep hill to climb when it comes to establishing value.
One important element is Paramount’s movie lineup for 2021. Movies such as A Quiet Place Part II, Top Gun: Maverick, Jackass 4 and the G.I. Joe spin-off Snake Eyes, among others, are on the studio’s calendar. These movies could be repositioned as streaming plays to provide a boost to Paramount+. We’ll be sure to keep you posted as further details are made available. This news comes to us via CBS.