Posts for 'Paramount+'

  • Inside the Stream: Putting Paramount+ With Showtime in Perspective

    Not that long ago, before Netflix became a household name, “premium TV” referred to HBO, Showtime and Starz. They, and their brand extensions, were all subscription-based, advertising-free networks with edgier programming that couldn’t be found elsewhere on the dial. Showtime had plenty of hits over the years, with shows like “Dexter,” “Billions,” “Shameless,” “Weeds” and “Ray Donovan” earning loyal audiences.

    Flash forward to this week, as Paramount+ With Showtime officially launched, and decades-old Showtime became an appendage to the Paramount+ primary brand. For a mere $2 increase per month (to $11.99), all the Showtime programming instantly became available to Paramount+ ad-free subscribers.

    Showtime’s evolution speaks volumes about how streaming has upended the broader TV industry. In this week’s podcast Colin and I try to put it in perspective.  

    Listen to the podcast to learn more (30 minutes, 28 seconds)

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  • Inside the Stream: YouTube Ads in Q1 ’23, Pluto TV's Tony Play, Exploring AI Drake

    First up this week on Inside the Stream we discuss YouTube’s advertising revenue for Q1 ’23, which was $6.7B, down 2.6% from Q1 ’22 of $6.9B. Obviously growth, not contraction, is the goal, but given the huge headwinds blowing through the ad business, in my view, a slight dip can rightly be considered a clear win. And the quarters that YouTube is now lapping were extremely strong to begin with, so comps will be tough by definition.

    We also spend a few minutes discussing YouTube’s four priorities outlined in the earnings call. I’m looking forward to attending YouTube’s NewFront presentations on Monday morning, especially “AI and the Future of Creative Transformation.”

    Next up, we both like how Paramount is leveraging Pluto TV by having it stream “THE TONY AWARD: ACT ONE,” preceding the main Tonys broadcast on CBS and Paramount+ on June 11th. ACT ONE is a perfect example of how “shoulder content” that can drive free streaming viewership (helping build Pluto’s brand) while acting as lead gen for Paramount+ and maybe even a little incremental retention for pay-TV.

    We expect to see a lot more of this “shoulder content on FAST” playbook run in the future elsewhere too. It’s a solid, synergistic play.

    Last, we make a maiden foray into the intersection of AI, video and music, prompted by a well-reported - though maybe slightly over-dramatic - article in The Verge about “AI Drake.” It’s a bit of a head-spinner to keep track of the machinations, but the net of it is that - no surprise to anyone - generative AI is already kicking up some dust related to copyright and Fair Use.

    Big players like Google and Microsoft will have to sort out what positions they ultimately want to stake out given their varied business interests. We do our best to decipher things and discuss implications. No easy answers here, but expect a lot more about AI on Inside the Stream in the future.

    Listen to the podcast to learn more (31 minutes, 59 seconds)

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  • 5 Reasons Going to the Movies is Facing an Irreversible Demise

    Yesterday’s news that Universal Pictures will release certain of its 2022 movies on Peacock no more than four months after their theatrical premiere was just the latest move by the owner of both a studio and a streaming service (in this case Comcast) to accelerate the demise of going to a theater to see a movie.

    Universal’s move shouldn’t have surprised anyone. Back in April, 2020, in the early days of the pandemic, Universal decided to release “Trolls World Tour” as a digital rental to mitigate the closure of theaters. That touched off a highly public war of words with AMC Theaters’ head Adam Aron, who threatened to no longer carry Universal’s movies. Aron and NBCU head Jeff Shell ultimately buried the hatchet, signing a new deal that compressed the theatrical window from 90 days to 17. Aron may have gotten the last laugh when AMC’s stock unexpectedly got caught up in the meme frenzy and the company raised over $1.2 billion by issuing new shares over the past few months.

    Of course, Universal is following a playbook being run by other cross-owned studios/streaming services. Disney has simultaneously released a number of its movies in theaters and on Disney+, experimenting with the premium rental model. ViacomCBS is compressing the theatrical window for Paramount movies to get them onto Paramount+ as quickly as possible. And of course WarnerMedia set off a firestorm back in December, ’20 when it abruptly announced all of its 2021 Warner Bros.’ slate would be simultaneously released on HBO Max (that decision was reversed for the 2022 slate).

    Taken together, it’s pretty clear that studios are delicately, yet aggressively, prioritizing their streaming services over theatrical, irrespective of whatever soothing assurances studio executives continue to offer about the importance of the theater experience to assuage chain owners. But in reality, the studios’ moves are just one of at least 5 reasons why going to the movies is facing an irreversible demise as streaming upends every corner of the media and entertainment industry.

    Read the 5 reasons

  • Paramount+: A Chip Off the ViacomCBS Block

    More than two months since its launch, it’s no secret where the new kid on the SVOD block, ViacomCBS’s Paramount+, is getting its programming persona: directly from its parent company.

    Of the more than 30,000 unique television episodes available from the successor to CBS All Access at its early March launch, some 25,000, or close to 84%, were sourced from the ViacomCBS vaults.

    And why not? With ownership of iconic pop culture brands like MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central (not to mention CBS itself), ViacomCBS possesses an enviable content pedigree that gives the two-tiered streaming service immediate marquee value.

    A deep dive into the Paramount+ offering quantifies how ViacomCBS has populated a deep streaming offering. A One Touch Intelligence VODTRAK® audit from March 2021 yielded this top-line breakdown of the content ViacomCBS’s own brands have contributed (approximate number of titles in 000s):

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  • Report: SVOD Market Fragments Following New Service Launches

    The U.S. SVOD market has undergone significant fragmentation over the past two years as new services have launched, according to the Q1 2021 Growth Report from Antenna, an SVOD insights provider. In Q1 ’19, Netflix and Hulu together accounted for over three-quarters (78%) of all SVOD subscriptions. But two years later, in Q1 ’21, their combined share fell to just over half (51%), with Disney taking 17%, HBO Max 11%, Paramount+ 7%, Starz 6%, Showtime 4% and discovery+, Peacock and Apple TV+ all at 2%.

    Antenna didn’t report Amazon Prime Video numbers. Amazon said in its Q1 ’21 earnings report that 175 million Prime members have streamed TV shows and movies in the past year, though it didn’t provide any breakdown of U.S. share vs. rest of world.

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #550: Paramount+ Details; Netflix Downloads

    Welcome to the 550th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    ViacomCBS shared more content and pricing details for Paramount+ this week, ahead of its March 4th launch. Colin and I agree that from a content perspective, it’s an “everything but the kitchen sink” strategy, with a strong lineup of 30K+ TV episodes and 2,500 movies, plus sports, kids and originals. ViacomCBS repeatedly referred to the Paramount+ approach as a “mountain of entertainment.”

    Paramount+ is also priced aggressively, at $4.99 per month with ads and $9.99 per month without ads. That’s slightly less than Hulu’s comparable tiers and equal to Peacock’s pricing. Colin and I are interested to see what the Paramount+ ad load looks like compared to Hulu and Peacock.

    We also discuss Netflix’s new Downloads For You feature, announced earlier this week. Colin has given it a spin and while we agree the feature is a valuable, it is diminished by the content that is recommended, which didn’t match Colin’s tastes.

    Listen in to learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (23 minutes, 59 seconds)

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  • Paramount+ Gets March 4th Launch Date

    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.

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