What to Expect From Paramount+, the Latest Paid Streaming Service
Paramount+ is the newest paid streaming service. Once called CBS All Access, the service is available on many devices around the world.
Paramount+ is a new streaming service available where you can watch original content like Star Trek: Picard and Texas 6, and full seasons of older hits like Everybody Loves Raymond and Frasier. If this sounds familiar, it should. The all-new Paramount+ service is a rebranding of CBS All Access. Here’s more about the new service, where you can watch it, and how to get it.
Launched in late 2014, CBS All Access arrived on the scene long before similar services like the ever-growing Disney+, Apple TV+, and HBO Max. The first over-the-top (OTT) offering by an American broadcast television network, CBS All Access featured full-length episodes of past and present CBS programs at a monthly price, with and without commercials, and live CBS content, including NFL games. Over the years, other content was added, including originals like The Good Wife spinoff, The Good Fight.
With around 8 million monthly subscribers as of November 2020, according to Variety, CBS All Access is way behind other streamers, such as Netflix (204 million users), Disney+ (95 million), HBO Max (17 million), and Apple TV+ (10 million), and others. No doubt, the name change (and the extra content it provides) will give Paramount+ a window to find more viewers.
Why the Rebrand?
In November 2019, CBS Corporation and Viacom re-merged to become ViacomCBS. When doing so, CBS All Access added programs from Nickelodeon, Boat Rocker Studios, and Wildbrain. A few months later, other content followed from Paramount Pictures, the Domestic Media Networks division, and Pluto TV. An increasing number of films were eventually added, as was more content from the large ViacomCBS library.
In September 2020, it was finally announced CBS All Access would rebrand as Paramount+. The change comes with an international expansion. As ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish said at the time, Paramount was “an iconic and storied brand beloved by consumers all over the world, and it is synonymous with quality, integrity, and world-class storytelling.”
Officially launched on March 4, 2021, Paramount+ includes a range of content, including live sports, kids programming, news, and more original programming out of the gate. The content comes from CBS, BET, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, MTV, Smithsonian Channel, and more.
New programming launching on the same day as Paramount+ includes Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years, a 26-episode comedy, The Real World Homecoming: New York, a reality show featuring the original cast of MTV’s historic The Real World, and the true-crime documentary series, For Heaven’s Sake.
Among the original series launching at some point is Halo, based on the popular video game series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, a Frasier reboot, and many more.
What Does It Cost?
Paramount+ is priced at $4.99 per month with limited commercials ($4.99 tier coming soon) and $9.99 per month commercial-free. New users can try Paramount+ free for one month. You can save 15% when purchasing a yearly plan. There’s also a student discount of 25%.
You can also bundle Showtime with Paramount+. For $14.99 a month, you can receive both services with limited commercials; for $18.99 per month, you get the commercial-free package. You can add Showtime during the sign-up process.
With each account, you can watch Paramount+ simultaneously on three devices and create separate profiles for family members.
You can find Paramount+ across various devices, including computer or mobile web, iPhone or iPad, Android phone or tablet, Apple TV (4th generation or later), Android TV, Amazon Fire TV or Kindle, Portal TV, Roku, Xfinity Flex, LG TV, Samsung TV, Vizio TV, Xbox, and PlayStation 4.
At the time of this writing, the service is available in Argentina, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
What About Paramount Network?
Because there’s now Paramount+, the Paramount Network (formerly Spike TV) is becoming the Paramount Movie Network. Regardless, they are two different services under the same ViacomCBS umbrella.
Is It Worth It?
If you haven’t already noticed, we have a lot of paid streaming options available. Rebranding CBS All Access to Paramount+ might make a difference — or maybe it won’t. Its success will eventually be measured by how many hits it produces and whether that’s enough to gain more subscribers.
So I already have Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu and Netflix. I have to say — I’m done. I mean, I’m sure there’s some content on here but 5 streaming services? I can’t watch all the shows I already “own” or have “access to” as it is.
Cutting the cord is one thing, but soon it will be cutting the streaming…
Anyone else in my same position?
Not to mention, with Covid not helping, there is little new content to warrant these streaming services, personally, I’m not into 75% of any monthly fees for sitcom reruns, that used to be free (in the summer) on network TV.
Well…. I won’t argue one service over another however, I will say — I can’t watch live TV any longer. The commercials just kill me. I’ll happily spend a few bucks a month on a streaming service if I don’t have to watch the commercials. Time is money!
FWIW — Here are the subs I pay for currently:
* Disney+ / Hulu Bundle / No Ads
* Amazon Prime Video (although I rarely use it)
* Paramount+ (Testing it out)
I’ll have the team put together a Poll to find out what our readers are all subscribing to. Should be a fun “Ask the readers”!