Paramount Plus is now officially here, and here’s everything you need to know about this new streaming service from ViacomCBS.
This is the new streaming service from the, now, merged company of ViacomCBS, which is going to be a bit strange, since it has other streaming services available. Like BET+ for some of its other networks, that will also be available on Paramount Plus. We’re going to try and make sense of it all, and tell you everything you need to know about Paramount Plus here.
What is Paramount Plus?
Paramount Plus is the rebranded version of CBS All Access. CBS has actually had its streaming service for quite a few years already, but it hasn’t been all that popular. It was pretty cheap and had a handful of exclusives on it. But CBS never really fully embraced it.
After merging with Viacom in 2019, the company expanded its library of content, and knew it needed to rebrand CBS All Access, with all of this new content. So here comes Paramount Plus. The reason for using this name, as opposed to keeping CBS All Access, is because its movie studio is Paramount Pictures. And apparently it is much more popular outside of the US than Viacom itself is.
Paramount Plus will be available starting on March 4. With more countries to follow.
“Paramount is an iconic and storied brand beloved by consumers all over the world,” said Bob Bakish, president-CEO of ViacomCBS. “With Paramount Plus, we’re excited to establish one global streaming brand in the broad-pay segment that will draw on the sheer breadth and depth of the ViacomCBS portfolio.”
How much does Paramount Plus cost?
Paramount Plus will actually be the same as its predecessor, CBS All Access. Pricing is set at $4.99 per month for ad-supported viewing and $9.99 for ad-free viewing.
You can also save 16% by buying an annual membership to Paramount Plus. It’ll cost you $4.17/month or $8.33/month depending on the plan.
The Premium tier does add a few things, besides just axing the ads. For example, you can download your shows to watch later. And you can also get your local CBS station live. Which might be worth the extra cash for some.
ViacomCBS, the parent company of Paramount Plus, has said that there will be a bundle that will include Showtime as well. Though, pricing for that has not yet been announced. Expect it to be around $15/month for the ad-supported bundle and $20 for the ad-free bundle. Remember that Showtime is $10.99 per month.
Can I bundle it with Showtime?
Paramount+ announced that it would offer a bundle with Showtime, and as of September 20, 2021 that bundle is now available.
The promotional pricing for this bundle is still available, a year after it was supposed to end. So this may be the regular pricing now. Still, it’s a good deal. As SHOWTIME costs $10.99 per month by itself. Meanwhile you can bundle it with Paramount Plus for just $9.99/month, or get the Premium version of Paramount Plus for $12.99 per month. Which is incredible.
Where will it be available?
Paramount Plus launched on March 4 in the US, and parts of Latin America.
CBS All Access was renamed Paramount Plus in Canada on March 4. However, the expanded content offering that Paramount Plus brings, won’t launch until later in 2021.
Those in the Nordics can get Paramount Plus starting on March 25. While Australia will get it in mid-t0-late 2021. There’s no exact date given just yet.
As for other countries, no word yet on when or if they will get Paramount Plus.
Update: The United Kingdom and Ireland will get Paramount+ on June 22. Sky Cinema customers will get it included for no extra charge. Other countries will have to wait until later in the year for Paramount+ to launch.
What platforms does it work on?
ViacomCBS has not yet confirmed which platforms that Paramount Plus will work on. However, CBS All Access already works on the following platforms.
- Apple TV
- iPhone and iPad
- Android TV
- Android phone and tablet
- Amazon Fire TV
- Portal TV
- PlayStation 4
- Samsung TV
- Vizio TV
- LG TV
- Xfinity Flex
We’d expect Paramount Plus to continue working on those platforms and likely add some more.
What’s happening to CBS All Access?
CBS All Access will go away, the app might still be available for a limited time after the rebranding takes place. But it will serve as a vehicle to push people over to Paramount Plus.
To get started with Paramount Plus, you’ll need to go to its website, or download the Paramount Plus app onto your smartphone, smart TV or other device. You will be able to use your existing CBS All Access login for Paramount Plus. The only question here is whether your watch history, library and such will be moved over to Paramount Plus. And it likely will. Making the move from CBS All Access to Paramount Plus as seamless as possible.
The move from CBS All Access to Paramount Plus should be similar to the move from HBO Go to HBO Max. Where’s it’s basically the same service you know and love, but with the entire library from ViacomCBS available on Paramount Plus. So basically, for the same price, you’ll be getting a lot more content. And who can say no to that?
So make sure you poor one out for CBS All Access. It had a good run, but Paramount Plus is likely going to be a much bigger deal than CBS All Access ever was.
What content will be available on Paramount Plus?
Paramount Plus will have a boatload of content. As the combined ViacomCBS company does have a pretty large library of content that can be put on Paramount Plus. This includes content from Paramount Pictures, CBS, Comedy Central, BET, Nickelodeon and MTV. Unfortunately, Showtime content won’t be available on Paramount Plus, as that is part of its own streaming service (which costs $11.99 per month), but that is owned by ViacomCBS.
Paramount Plus Shows
Paramount Plus has announced a large slate of originals that are coming to the service. Below is a list of those originals that have been announced so far. Including a few reboots of popular shows.
- Criminal Minds reboot
- A Frasier reboot starring Kelsey Grammer
- The Offer, a documentary based on the making of The Godfather
- Multiple new Star Trek series, including a Picard series and two animated series
- Real World Homecoming: New York
- Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies
- A series based on Flashdance
- A series based on Love Story
- Y:1883 (Yellowstone prequel)
- The Mayor of Kingstown
- American Tragedy
- The Offer
- Road Rules
- Dating Naked
- Ink Masters
- MTV’s Behind The Music – The Top 40
- A RuPaul’s Drag Race singing show
- The Real Criminal Minds
- The Game reboot
- Younger’s final season
This is a small list, and it will grow over time. But it’s honestly incredible to see how small the slate of originals is, compared to Discovery+ when it launched in January 2021. It had hundreds of episodes of original content available.
CBS All Access current slate of originals will still be available too. And those include:
- The Stand
- Star Trek: Picard
- The Good Fight
- Why Women Kill
- Tooning Out the News
- Star Trek: Discovery
Paramount Plus Movies
On launch day, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on The Run will premiere on the service. This is an animated movie that was set to launch in theaters last year, but was delayed due to the pandemic. It sports a pretty incredible cast including Keanu Reeves, Snoop Dogg, Awkwafina and Danny Trejo.
Along with the SpongeBob Movie, there is a 13-episode spinoff series called Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years.
Paramount Plus has yet to announce the full movie launch list just yet. But we can expect movies like The Godfather trilogy, AirPlane and Rosemary’s Baby to name a few.
Basically, anything that is a Paramount movie that is not being licensed out to another platform, should be available on the service on day one. With those that are licensed out, coming to the service once those licensing agreements run out. We saw something similar with Disney+ and even HBO MAX (and WarnerMedia’s library).
Most importantly, Paramount Plus announced that the time-frame from a movie’s theaterical release to its streaming release will be much shorter. Between 30 and 45 days. And those movies include:
- A Quiet Place Part II
- Mission: Impossible 7
- Paranormal Activity
- Pet Sematary
- The In Between
Paramount Plus Sports
It is also teasing a good amount of sports for the service. This is going to be thanks to CBS Sports.
It’ll sport NFL Football, College Football, PGA Tour golf and even UEFA Champions League soccer, as well as the US National Women’s Soccer League.
There will be more sports available, courtesy of your local CBS affiliate. Which also means that the app is likely going to need your location to figure out which affiliate is your local one.
The amount of sports available on Paramount Plus will likely increase in the coming years.
Paramount Plus Channels
Much like CBS All Access, Paramount Plus will sport different channels that are live. This includes CBS (usually your local affiliate), CBSN or CBS News, CBS Sports HQ, ET Live and the NFL. So you can watch live content on Paramount Plus at any time.
It’ll also be taking a page out of Pluto TV, and offering different channels of content.
On December 9, 2021, Paramount+ also debuted a number of other live channels. Here’s the current list:
- 24/7 Laughs
- Adult Animation
- All Day Drama
- Animation Favorites
- Black Voices
- Crime & Justice
- History & Undiscovered
- Kids & Family Fun
- Nostalgic Hits
- PAW Patrol
- Preschool Corner
- Reality TV: Competition
- Reality TV: Shores
- SpongeBob Universe
- Star Trek
- The Challenge
- TV Classics
There will be more launching later this month and likely into the new year.
Will it support 4K HDR?
Paramount Plus will support 4K HDR and also have support for Dolby Vision.
However, like with most other streaming services, it will not be available for every single title in its library.
Currently, CBS All Access has a handful of shows in 4K HDR, and we’d expect that number to grow once Paramount Plus launches, and more original content comes to the platform. But as for older shows and movies available on the service, don’t expect to see 4K HDR support there.
How fast does my Internet need to be for Paramount Plus?
Paramount Plus has not yet said what the minimum speed is for streaming its service. But it’ll likely be around 5Mbps. As that is what most streaming services list as their minimum.
If you want to watch Paramount Plus shows and movies in 4K HDR and with Dolby Vision, you’ll want faster internet. At least 25Mbps to 50Mbps if you want to watch without any buffering. The majority of people in the US have at least that speed, so that should not be an issue.
How does Paramount Plus compare to the competition?
Right now, it’s tough to say how Paramount Plus will stack up to the competition, considering we don’t know a whole lot about the original content is preparing to launch. But given the expected price and some of the older content that will be available, Paramount Plus should be a nice addition to your streaming arsenal. At $6-$7 per month, it’s one of the lesser expensive streaming services available right now.
If you like a lot of the ViacomCBS properties, then you’re going to love Paramount Plus. Especially if you watch content from BET, ComedyCentral and Nickelodeon, there’s something for everyone there.
How can I sign up for Paramount Plus?
You can’t yet sign up for Paramount Plus, but you can still sign up for CBS All Access. Since it is going to be the same price, the service will switch over to Paramount Plus when it launches in March. Similar to what HBO Go did once HBO Max launched last year.