Paramount Plus Pricing: Base Package Will Cost Less Than CBS All Access

After months of buildup, ViacomCBS next week is set to flip the switch for Paramount Plus — its bulked-up streaming platform engineered to throw bigger elbows in an increasingly crowded market.

And the media conglomerate is actually lowering the entry-level price for the super-size Paramount Plus, which will be new name of the rebranded CBS All Access.

The base, ad-supported tier of Paramount Plus, launching in June, will cost $4.99 per month — a dollar less than $5.99 per month for CBS All Access today. Paramount Plus’ premium tier, with no ads (except in live programming) will be the same, at $9.99 per month.

In addition, the company plans to bundle Paramount Plus with other streaming packages; for example, subscribers will have a way to purchase a Showtime add-on with Paramount Plus.

Here are other details ViacomCBS announced for the service at its investor day presentation:

What is Paramount Plus?

It’s the new name for CBS All Access, ViacomCBS’s existing subscription-video service, which will be rebranded as Paramount Plus on March 4, 2021, in the U.S. The new a dramatically increased buffet of live sports and news and on-demand content — and a queue of new originals set to arrive in the coming months.

What’s available to watch?

Paramount Plus launches with a library of 30,000-plus TV episodes and more than 2,500 movies, and in the first year is set to premiere 36 original series. The content comes from CBS (including CBS News and CBS Sports) and cable network brands Nickelodeon, MTV, BET, Comedy Central and Smithsonian Channel, with movies from Paramount Pictures, MGM and other studios.

What new programming is coming to Paramount Plus?

ViacomCBS execs tried to hammer home the “mountain of entertainment” mantra throughout the presentation. Some of the new content coming to the service:

  • TV dramas and comedies: Taylor Sheridan projects “6666” (a “Yellowstone” spinoff) and “Mayor of Kingstown” starring Jeremy Renner; a “Criminal Minds” reboot; “Halo,” based on the Xbox game franchise, which is moving from Showtime coming in early 2022; a new series from Kenya Baris; series adaptations of movies “The Italian Job,” “Love Story,” “Fatal Attraction,” “Parallax View,” and “Flashdance”; the seventh and final season of Darren Star’s “Younger” starring Sutton Foster and Hilary Duff; a “Frazier” revival with Kelsey Grammer; the return of “Inside Amy Schumer”; spinoffs of “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” and “Reno: 911!”; and movies based on “Workaholics” and “Beavis & Butt-head.”
  • Kids programming: Animated kids’ series “Star Trek: Prodigy,” along with new seasons of “Star Trek: Discovery” and “Star Trek: Lower Decks”; a new “Rugrats” CG-animated series; new series set in the world of “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and “The Legend of Korra” from Nickelodeon’s new Avatar Studios; an “iCarly” reboot; and live-action versions of “Dora the Explorer” and “The Fairly OddParents.”
  • Reality and music: “Queen of the Universe,” an international drag queen singing competition from producers of “RuPaul’s Drag Race”; revivals of MTV’s ‘Behind the Music,” “Yo! MTV Raps,” “Unplugged”; and as previously announced, a reunion of the original “Real World” cast.
  • Movies: Paramount Pictures will put most new releases on the service within 30 days of theatrical release and has set a 45-day theatrical window for tentpole titles including the upcoming “Top Gun: Maverick” and “A Quiet Place 2.” Original films from the studio for Paramount Plus include a new “Paranormal Activity” and a “Pet Sematary” prequel.

Will Paramount Plus be available outside the U.S.?

ViacomCBS says Paramount Plus will also launch in Latin America on March 4; the Canadian version of CBS All Access will get the new name on that date as well but the expanded content won’t be available in the Great White North until later in the year. Paramount Plus is scheduled to debut in the Nordics on March 25 and Australia in mid-2021.

What about Showtime and BET Plus?

Those will continue as separate, standalone premium streaming services alongside their linear TV outlets. Showtime, for example, announced a “Ray Donovan” movie on Wednesday after the series starring Liev Schreiber ended its seven-season run last year. In addition, ViacomCBS’s Pluto TV will remain a free, ad-supported streaming service, with 43 million global active monthly users in Q4.

Are there any special discounts for Paramount Plus?

Prior to the official March 4 launch, ViacomCBS is offering subscribers who sign up for a CBS All Access annual plan a 50% discount for the first 12 months. Regular annual pricing for the service is $59.99/year with ads and $99.99/year without ads.

What about streaming free CBS shows?

To keep watching CBS shows for free, as of March 4, users will need to download a new CBS app.

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