Paramount+, the new streaming service from ViacomCBS, will launch in the U.S. on March 4th, the company announced today. Paramount+ will also launch in Latin America on March 4th, and in Canada, CBS All Access will be rebranded on that date, though a broader content rollout won’t happen until later in 2021. Paramount+ will also launch in the Nordics on March 25th and in Australia in mid-2021 according to the release.
ViacomCBS will share more details of its streaming strategy at an investor event on February 24th.
ViacomCBS announced last September that it would be rebranding CBS All Access as Paramount+, with plans to add library content from all of the company’s other properties, and increase the amount of exclusive original content for the service. Paramount+ will have over 30,000 episodes and movies when it launches, from BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and Paramount Pictures. It will also include streams from local CBS stations, including NFL on CBS, which have been a part of CBS All Access.
Though it will have a running start with CBS All Access’s approximately 8 million paying subscribers, Paramount+ will be the last of the big streaming services from major media and technology companies to launch. ViacomCBS hasn’t yet revealed the price points for Paramount+, but with CBS All Access currently at $5.99/mo with ads and $9.99/mo without ads, I’d expect around a $2/mo addition (possibly waived during a promotional period). That would bring Paramount+ to $7.99/mo with ads and $11.99/mo without ads, though I think it’s also possible the price of the ad-supported version will won’t be raised, given the ongoing strength of the connected TV ads..
At these rates, Paramount+ would be in the middle to high end of the price range for major streaming services’ ad-free versions - more than Apple TV+, Peacock, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video (standalone rate) the same as Hulu, and less than Netflix Standard plan and HBO Max. CBS All Access executives have said in the past that the majority of its subscribers opt for the ad-supported version, so it will be interesting to see if this continues with Paramount+ too.