Paramount Plus is a new streaming service from ViacomCBS, designed to compete with the likes of Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video and HBO Max.
Rather than start from scratch, ViacomCBS is taking its existing streaming platform, CBS All Access, and rebranding it as Paramount Plus. The new and improved service will be topped up with a ton of new programming from the ViacomCBS universe, which is home to CBS, MTV, BET, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central.
Paramount Plus – or Paramount+, as it's officially called – will also tempt viewers with a host of original shows, including a new series of Fraiser, and classic movies such as The Godfather. Paramount Plus will also stream movies such as Mission: Impossible 7 within 45 days of their theatrical release.
Details of the Paramount Plus price, release date, originals and any free trial offers were officially revealed on 24th February. Here's everything you need to know about Paramount Plus...
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What is Paramount Plus?
Paramount Plus is the new name for CBS All Access, the US-based streaming service launched by CBS Corp back in 2014. CBS All Access has a subscriber base of around 8 million, which isn't bad, but parent company ViacomCBS wants a bigger slice of the streaming pie.
On 4th March 2021 CBS All Access will be relaunched as Paramount Plus and populated with extra content from CBS, BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, The Smithsonian Channel and Paramount Pictures. In addition, each channel will produce on-demand originals and live sports – including NFL and soccer – for Paramount Plus.
Will it be enough to topple rivals such as Netflix? Only time will tell, but the Paramount Plus' Super Bowl commercial – starring Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: Picard), James Corden (The Late Late Show), DJ Khaled (MTV) and Spongebob Squarepants – certain indicates a 'go big or go home' approach. You can watch it below...
Paramount Plus release date
Paramount Plus will launch in the United States and parts of Latin America on 4th March 2021.
In Canada, CBS All Access will be renamed Paramount Plus on 4th March 2021 but the "expanded" content offering won't be available until later in the 2021.
The service is expected to land in Australia in mid-to-late 2021, while those in the Nordics can expect Paramount Plus to arrive on 25th March 2021.
There's no word on when Paramount Plus will launch in Europe or the UK specifically.
Paramount Plus price and free trial
Paramount Plus will offer two subscription tiers. The ad-supported Base plan will cost $5 per month and includes access to 30,000 TV shows, 2,500 movies, Paramount Plus Originals and live sports including NFL games.
Unfortunately, the bargain Base tier won't become available until June.
Instead, Paramount Plus will launch on 4th March offering the $10 per month Premium tier. It's commercial-free and gets you access to more live sports via CBS local stations, plus a host of extras such as on-demand CBS news shows.
A free trial is likely on the cards, given that CBS All Access currently dangles a 7-day free trial in front of potential new subscribers.
It's also worth noting that CBS All Access offers an annual prepay plan for $59.99 ($99.99 without ads), which saves 20% compared to the rolling monthly subscription. You can save an extra 50% right now, using the discount code below...
Paramount Plus: 50% off with the code 'PARAMOUNTPLUS'
Sign up to CBS All Access (soon to be Paramount Plus) using the code 'PARAMOUNT PLUS' and you'll slash 50% off the cost of an annual subscription. The code drops the price of the limited ads tier from $60 to $30, and the ad-free plan from $100 to $50. The code expires on 3rd March 2021.View Deal
How do I switch to Paramount Plus?
CBS All Access subscribers might wonder how they can switch over to Paramount Plus. Well, it's easy. On 4th March 2021, CBS All Access subscribers can go to ParamountPlus.com, or download the Paramount Plus app on their favoured device, and sign in using their existing CBS All Access login details. If all goes to plan, you should be logged in and streaming Paramount Plus in no time.
Paramount Plus shows
ViacomCBS has confirmed that over 50 original series will premiere on Paramount Plus in the next two years.
The most high-profile original is likely to be the Fraiser revival, starring Kelsey Grammer as the beloved radio psychologist. According to Paramount the reboot will be "more exactly the same than ever", though it seems Grammer's original co-stars are yet to sign on.
Another original worth keeping an eye out for is the TV adaptation of the Halo Xbox franchise. Showtime, owned by ViacomCBS, has been working on the project for over four years now. There's also a TV adaptation of The Italian Job movie in the works.
One of the first titles will be Lioness, a new CIA spy drama created by Taylor Sheridan (Yellowstone), about a young Marine undercover in a terrorist organisation. That will be joined by The Offer, a 10-part drama series based on producer Al Ruddy’s experiences helming Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 epic The Godfather.
Paramount Plus is also pitching itself up as 'the home of the Star Trek universe'. It'll be the place to watch season two of Star Trek: Picard and the upcoming Star Trek: Prodigy series, as well as older CBS hits such as Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: The Next Generation.
More sci-fi action is on the way courtesy of Oscar winner Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave), who is set to star in a new version of the The Man Who Fell to Earth. The show will be based on the 1963 American sci-fi novel that was famously made into a 1972 sci-fi flick starring David Bowie.
Meanwhile, BET is rebooting The Game, a comedy sitcom based in the world of professional athletes, and MTV is reviving Behind the Music, said to be an "intimate look at the 40 biggest artists of all time".
Fan of true crime shows? The Real Criminal Minds, a docu-series based on the hit CBS investigative drama Criminal Minds, might arouse your curiosity.
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Paramount Plus movies
The big news is that Paramount Plus will stream many new releases within 30-45 days of their theatrical release. Mission: Impossible 7 and A Quiet Place 2 will premiere within 45 days of showing in theatres. Paramount Plus will also be the place to stream Top Gun: Maverick in 2022.
Paramount is also touting a some exclusive movies including a Pet Sematary prequel and a Beavis & Butthead movie. In the meantime, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run will premiere on Paramount Plus on 4th March (launch day). The cartoon extravaganza will be joined by a 13-episode spinoff series called Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years.
Paramount Pictures has also teamed up with EPIX to make thousands of movie titles from other studios available to Paramount Plus subscribers. You'll be able to stream selected films from the James Bond (the next Bond movie, No Time to Die, will be available on Paramount Plus "shortly after" its theatrical release).
In total, Paramount Plus is promising a library of over 2,500 movies – from recent blockbusters such as The Avengers to classics from the MGM and Paramount Picture vault.
Paramount Plus sports
Paramount Plus is set for a healthy portfolio of live sports including NFL football, college football, PGA Tour and PGA Championship golf, The Masters golf, NCAA Division Men’s Basketball,
and much more, courtesy of your local CBS affiliate.
Paramount Plus also claims to be "the only place in the US where soccer fans can find exclusive English-language coverage of every UEFA club competition match, every season." That the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League.
Paramount Plus is currently only available to those within the US and Latin America right now. But remember, you can access Paramount Plus account from anywhere in the world using a VPN – just as if you were back home in the States. We typically recommend ExpressVPN since it offers a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
A number of sports documentaries are also in production, including Sir Alex Ferguson: Never Give In – the story of the legendary manager of Manchester United – and Stories from the Beautiful Game. Both are due out in 2021.
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Paramount Plus shows in 4K HDR
CBS All Access offers a handful of shows in 4K and Dolby Vision HDR, including Stephen King's The Good Fight (from season four) and The Twilight Zone (from season two). Star Trek: Picard and Star Trek: Discovery are available in Dolby Vision HDR only.
Hopefully, the transition to Paramount Plus will see the expansion of that 4K HDR content library. We'll bring you more details of Paramount Plus as and when they emerge, but given the aggressive pricing strategy and plenty of decent content, it seems that ViacomCBS is going all out to ensure there's no reason not to subscribe.
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