TV Answer Man, I keep seeing commercials for Paramount+ which looks like some CBS thing, but I’m not sure. What is Paramount Plus and do you have to pay for it? I’m tired of paying for all these streaming services. — Jeannie, Abilene, Texas.
Jeannie, CBS All Access, the Viacom-owned streaming service that costs $5.99 a month, tomorrow will become Paramount+. But there’s a lot more changing than the name.
Paramount+ starts at $5.99 a month with a $9.99 a month package with no ads. (Paramount says it will offer a $4.99 a month plan in June, which will not have ads.). The service will feature programming from all of Viacom’s brands, including CBS, Paramount Pictures, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, BET and MTV.
In addition, the streamer will feature original programming (Star Trek shows, The Good Fight, and a new Frasier with Kelsey Grammer, for instance), and live sports and news as well as select Paramount-produced theatrical films 45 days after their release in the theaters. (Mission Impossible 7 and A Quiet Place, Pt. 2 are two films ticketed for Paramount+ six weeks after their theatrical release.)
Viacom is hoping that the new branding, and expanded lineup, will give the service more value in the increasingly competitive streaming category.
“Paramount+ comes to the marketplace with real advantages that our competitors do not have,” Viacom CEO Bob Bakish told journalists last week in a three-hour presentation. “As you’ve seen from our marketing campaign, we have a mountain of entertainment. How big is that mountain? As you’ll see today, it’s a lot bigger than you think.”
Will Paramount+ succeed? As you note, Jeannie, consumers may be getting weary of having to subscribe to multiple streaming services to watch their favorite shows. There’s Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Peacock, Discovery+, Disney+, ESPN+…the list just goes on and on. But Paramount+ does have an impressive roster, and at $5.99 a month, the price might be right.
If you’re not sure, the service is now offering a one-month free trial when it launches tomorrow. But if you order a year’s subscription today, you can get 50 percent off. (For instance, the $9.99 a month plan would be roughly $60 for the full year.) To learn more, click here.
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— Phillip Swann