Somehow, the new streaming services never stop coming. Paramount Plus is launching in the US and Latin America on March 4, as a rebranding and relaunch of the existing CBS All Access service that will expand its library of content further.
With dedicated hubs to ViacomCBS’ various owned content arms – Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV and BET – it very much looks like another major studio’s renewed attempt to grab part of a market that’s currently dominated by Netflix and its ilk.
This is part of a long-term plan to transform CBS All Access that actually kicked off in July 2020, when content from these different silos of shows and movies became available to stream.
While the full streaming strategy for Paramount Plus will be revealed on February 24, 2021, including its price, we still know a fair amount about what’s to come in terms of exclusive shows and its international rollout. Below, we’ve rounded up everything we know about Paramount Plus so far.
What is Paramount Plus?
Paramount Plus is both a new video streaming service made for a global audience, and a rebranding of the existing CBS All Access service. Outside the US, most countries don’t have CBS All Access, meaning ViacomCBS has little in the way of a streaming footprint. So, while the rebranding part is important for US customers, the global ambition is what matters here on a wider level.
The aim is to draw on a deeper well of content from the parent company’s portfolio, with a library of older shows and movies alongside a selection of originals. CBS All Access already features news and sports content, like UEFA matches – whatever you’re already enjoying on CBS All Access will form a key part of Paramount Plus, too.
Internationally, the content is likely to vary depending on current licensing deals. For example, Amazon has the rights to show Star Trek: Picard outside the US as it stands – so don’t expect to see an identical library globally.
Paramount Plus release date
Paramount Plus will launch in the US on March 4, 2021, along with parts of Latin America. The Nordics will receive the streaming service on March 25, while Paramount Plus lands in Australia at some point in mid-2021. On March 4, the CBS All Access service in Canada will also switch names to Paramount Plus, while “an expanded offering will be available later in the year” in that region.
Paramount Plus price: not yet revealed
The Paramount Plus has not been revealed yet. CBS All Access as it stands costs $9.99 per month without ads, or $5.99 per month with ads. We’d expect to learn the price of the service on February 24, when that streaming strategy is made clear.
Paramount Plus shows and movies
Like any major streaming service, Paramount Plus will feature a host of new originals, complementing the CBS All Access shows already available. The Offer is a 10-episode limited series about the making of The Godfather; Lioness is a spy drama from Yellowstone and Sicario’s Taylor Sheridan; a new version of MTV’s Behind the Music is also in the works.
You’ll also find a true crime docuseries on Paramount Plus with the extremely tasteful name of The Real Criminal Minds. A reboot of BET sitcom The Game is also planned, along with a Spongebob Squarepants spin-off called Kamp Koral. The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run will also launch on the service this year as a streaming exclusive.
Release dates for each of these are unknown as it stands.
Paramount Plus will be home to all the upcoming Star Trek shows already confirmed for CBS All Access, including Star Trek Discovery season 4, Star Trek: Brave New Worlds, Section 31 and Star Trek: Picard season 2. Indeed, any ongoing CBS All Access shows – like The Good Wife spin-off The Good Fight, or Why Women Kill – will have a home on this new service.
Will Paramount Plus stand out?
As ever, content is king with streaming services. For US customers, CBS All Access has already established itself with a number of solid originals, even if it’s far from the winner when it comes to volume. It’s harder to get excited about a new streaming service in 2021 than it used to be, honestly, but if it results in more great big-budget TV shows, it’s surely worth the effort.
That February 24 reveal event will be key, then – and should explain how the service sits alongside Pluto TV and Showtime, which ViacomCBS also owns.