By: Nick Gambino
The Streaming Wars continue with CBS All Access rebranding to Paramount Plus (written as Paramount+). The ViacomCBS-owned company, CBS Interactive, launched CBS All Access six years ago in an effort to not only stay relevant in the face of a changing landscape that favored on-demand streaming, but to also keep their streaming content in-house.
At launch, the majority of their programming included current and past seasons of popular CBS shows like Big Bang Theory and NCIS, but in a ploy to not get lost in the stampede, they began creating CBS All Access originals like The Twilight Zone and Star Trek: Discovery.
With the decision to rebrand as Paramount+ beginning in early 2021, they are making moves to expand the limited TV-focused CBS brand. Paramount is a known entity across movies and TV with the film studio, Paramount Pictures, maintaining a presence in Hollywood since 1916.
Paramount+ will launch with five new original series including The Game, a reboot of Behind the Music and a limited series all about the making of The Godfather titled The Offer (as in “the offer he couldn’t refuse”). This latter is enough to make me sign up.
The numerous brands underneath ViacomCBS’s umbrella provide plenty of IP and various content to fuel original programming. We’re talking such known entities as Nickelodeon, BET, MTV, Showtime, and plenty more you’ve at least heard of. It’s a powerhouse of IP and it all should be fair game to mine for the new Paramount+ platform.
In an effort to ready themselves for launch, they’ve restructured the top brass at ViacomCBS. The head of Pluto TV (yet another under the expansive content umbrella owned by ViacomCBS), Tom Ryan, is now the CEO of ViacomCBS. This means Marc DeBevoise, who was responsible for launching CBS All Access, is stepping down and will act as an advisor.
There are other changes as well, like Kelly Day assuming the role of President of Streaming for ViacomCBS Networks International, all pointing to a streamlined alignment to focus on streaming both domestically and internationally.
Paramount+ launches in early 2021, so we’ll have to wait until then to see how it’ll all play out. I expect we should at least hear where it’ll be available and how much it’ll cost before then.