It now seems like every few months the public is introduced to yet another streaming service vying for our attention span. Following in the wake of Disney+, WarnerMedia’s HBO Max, and NBCUniversal’s Peacock is ViacomCBS’ Paramount+. The service isn’t so much of a new platform as it is an extension of the ViacomCBS branding, which includes everything from Nickelodeon and MTV to Comedy Central and the Mission: Impossible film franchise, among other properties.
With the debut of Paramount+, we realize you may have questions as to what precisely this new streamer will provide in terms of content—both old and new. Fortunately, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to provide clarity on all things related to the service. From what’s included, to how you can sign up for the service, here are some of your most frequently asked questions, answered.
Oh, hi there. I thought I’d seen the last of you. But if you’re here, that means there’s yet another new streaming service. What can you tell me about Paramount+?
Hi, yes—that’s true. Premiering on March 4, Paramount+ is the new version of CBS All Access—
Wait wait wait. Is this just a rebrand?
Yes. While CBS All Access was ViacomCBS’ way of offering a selection of programming that was either too mature (The Good Fight) or genre-focused (Star Trek: Discovery) to air on broadcast television, Paramount+ is a consolidation of all ViacomCBS brands into one hub. When you open Paramount+, you’ll see content from CBS, BET, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, MTV, the Smithsonian Channel, and the Paramount Network all in one centralized location. It’s a lot like HBO Max in this regard.
However, despite being owned by ViacomCBS, both Showtime and BET+ will continue as their own separate services for now. Although I wouldn’t rule out a potential merger in the future if ViacomCBS decides they need additional programming to bolster subscriber numbers.
Hurm, OK. What all can I watch on Paramount+?
In addition to CBS All Access shows and The Stand, you’ll get access to every single CBS broadcast show, including series like Survivor and a bunch of other shows beloved by white dads of America (Blue Bloods, NCIS, etc.). Older, beloved series like SpongeBob SquarePants will be available, as will (presumably) Chappelle’s Show—especially now that Dave and ViacomCBS have buried the hatchet.
Additionally, Paramount+ will feature live sports, news, and events for subscribers like CBS All Access did, which means you can watch all CBS-broadcast NFL games, the Grammys, and even CBS News. The service is very similar to Peacock in this way.
Right now, this all sounds a lot like CBS All Access. Are there going to be any splashy Paramount+ exclusives?
A lot. In a press conference in late February, ViacomCBS unveiled a bunch of announcements worthy of the service’s “mountain of content” tagline: The Taylor Sheridan (writer of Sicario and Hell or High Water) universe expands with a Yellowstone spinoff called 6666 and a Jeremy Renner-led series Mayor of Kingstown; the beloved CBS procedural Criminal Minds will get a reboot after going off the air in ::checks notes:: February of 2020; a return of Inside Amy Schumer; a Frasier reboot with Kelsey Grammer attached; black-ish and #blackAF creator Kenya Barris will helm a new series; there will be a new CG-animated Rugrats series, new shows set within the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender; live-action versions of Dora the Explorer and The Fairly OddParents; a The Real World Homecoming: New York reunion; and the long-gestating Halo TV series will move from Showtime over to the streaming service.
On the movie front, there will be movie-to-television adaptations of The Italian Job, Love Story, Fatal Attraction, The Parallax View, and Flashdance; Beavis and Butt-Head and Workaholics will have new movies debut; there will be another Paranormal Activity as well as a Pet Sematary prequel. Surprisingly, Paramount+ will also debut Top Gun: Maverick, A Quiet Place Part 2, and Mission: Impossible 7 on the series 45 days after their respective releases, continuing to prove theatrical windows are completely broken in the wake of COVID-19.
That’s a lot.
Alright, what are we talking about here in terms of price?
The base structure of Paramount+ includes an ad-supported version of the service for $5.99 a month. This tier will not have any sort of local CBS stations, but will consist of live sporting events. In June, the price will drop $1 to $4.99. You can sign up for a one-month free trial by using the promo code MOUNTAIN.
A premium, ad-free plan will cost $9.99—with the caveat, any sort of live programming (i.e., watching sports or CBS live) will include ads. This tier also provides you streaming access to your local CBS affiliate.
All current CBS All Access subscribers will be automatically updated to their respective Paramount+ tier on March 4. Additionally, you’ll be able to add on access to Showtime with your Paramount+ subscription should you choose.
Any carrier issues I should be aware of? I’m still having nightmares over the HBO Max/Roku snafu.
Nope! Paramount+ will hit iOS and Android mobile devices, Roku, Apple TV, Kindle Fire TV, and selected smart TV and game console providers on March 4. In short, if you currently have access to CBS All Access, you should be all set.
Well, thanks again for explaining all this.
Yeah, you’re welcome.
No offense, but I hope we don’t talk again for a while. I’m really starting to get overwhelmed by all these streaming services.
I hear you. How excited are you to watch Mission: Impossible 7 again so quickly, though?
Oh, bro, so stoked.
Same dude, same.