Last fall, we learned that the CBS All Access streaming service would be rebranding as Paramount+ following the ViacomCBS merger in 2019. The upcoming launch of Paramount+ is “part of the service’s expansion to feature content from ViacomCBS’ leading portfolio of broadcast, news, sports, and entertainment brands.” You’ll see exactly what that means when the streaming service (re)launches on March 4 in the United States and Latin America.
Variety has news on the Paramount+ release date, but more specific details won’t be announced until ViacomCBS hosts a virtual investor presentation on February 24 to discuss their revamped streaming strategy. As of now, we know that Paramount+ will keep everything available in CBS All Access right now, but the app will be revamped to include hubs for ViacomCBS channels like Nickelodeon, MTV, BET, Comedy Central, and more. All-in-all, Paramount+ will have over 30,000 titles available for subscribers to watch, many of which are already streaming under the CBS All Access banner.
It sounds like ViacomCBS is hoping that Paramount+ will be like their own version of HBO Max. The WarnerMedia streaming service combines all of the entertainment that falls under their banner into one streaming outlet, including movies and shows from HBO, Warner Bros. Pictures, Cartoon Network, Turner Classic Movies, and the DC Comics film and TV library. Though the ViacomCBS library isn’t nearly as impressive as WarnerMedia’s, they’re hoping to create “a linked ecosystem of differentiated offerings across free and pay streaming,” according to CEO Bob Bakish.
Paramount Pictures, which falls under the Viacom CBS banner, has been selling off many of their theatrical movies to other streaming services (especially in the age of coronavirus). This has me wondering if ViacomCBS will be looking to use Paramount+ as a potential path to release their upcoming movies as long as movie theaters aren’t running at full capacity. Some of Paramount’s big upcoming movies include A Quiet Place II, Top Gun: Maverick, and the G.I. Joe movie Snake Eyes, but I wouldn’t expect any of those to end up getting a streaming release because they’ll earn solid box office money. But perhaps the likes of big family movies such as Clifford the Big Red Dog or Rumble could go that route.
However, Paramount knew this streaming relaunch was coming in March, and they still sold The Tomorrow War to Amazon Prime. So it would seem that Paramount is keen to earn their money back by simply selling the movies rather than taking on the kind of experimental release strategy that Warner Bros. Pictures and HBO Max are embarking upon this year.
As for other Paramount+ details, including potential updates in pricing, ad-supported options, and more, we’ll have to wait until that virtual investor meeting on February 24, so be sure to come back next month to get all the information you need.
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