What Does Paramount+ Mean for Other Streaming Services?

Jocelyn Wright, Entertainment Editor

Paramount+, the rebranded merger of CBS and Viacom, is a streaming service like Netflix or Disney+ that released in March of 2021. The platform gives subscribers access to movies, tv shows, live broadcasts, and originals with ad and ad-free options. 

Although the CBS venture may seem to be yet another name added to the growing list of platforms available, Paramount+ actually poses a decent threat to the future of larger streaming services. 

Paramount+ currently offers content from: CBS television, CBS Sports productions, the back catalog of Paramount movies (approximately 1,000 at launch), Nickelodeon, MTV, BET, Comedy Central, and The Smithsonian Channel

Along with this vast collection, Paramount+ boasts a growing collection of originals. Most notable among the list so far are the “iCarly” reboot and multiple new “Star Trek” series. Paramount+ will also be streaming newly released movies, such as “Mission: Impossible 7,” “A Quiet Place 2,” “Top Gun: Maverick,” and “007 No Time To Die,” 45 days after they are released in theaters. 

From this, Paramount+ seems to be identical to other streaming services, so what makes it so different? 

That’s simple: the price. 

Paramount+ costs $4.99 per month with ads and $9.99 per month without ads. Compared to the monthly rate of Netflix ($8.99) or Disney+ ($7.99), the ad-free cost is just above average. Yet, the option to pay $5 less a month in exchange for ads is unique. 

According to Deloitte’s 15th digital media trends report, 65% of consumers prefer cheaper, ad-supported streaming video compared to pricier, ad-free streaming video. Netflix lost a staggering 31% market share in the last year to newer, cheaper streaming services, like NBCUniversal’s Peacock and Paramount+, that use this mixed ad model.

Could this mean the end of Netflix? Probably not. 

Despite losing market shares, Netflix is still a juggernaut in the streaming industry. With over 209 million global subscribers, it will take a lot to slay this media giant. 

That being said, a new age of streaming is arriving. Ad-free streaming services will need to develop intermediates with lower prices and ads in order to appeal to audiences with smaller budgets. Ad-free streaming will not go away, but it is projected to become less popular, as cheaper plans are especially convenient for consumers who subscribe to multiple services. The average consumer currently subscribes to 4 paid services at once, as well as numerous free services as well.

It’s not hard to see that streaming services will soon dominate the entertainment industry. We’re living in a time of transition as live television fades out and these services rise up to the challenge. It is unclear what the standard model for streaming services will be, but we can guess it will be a flexible mixture of ad and ad-free plans suitable for all budgets and needs. Paramount+ launched into a vast, complex market, so we shall have to wait and see if it stays afloat. In the meantime, make sure to finish watching your shows before they switch platforms and keep an eye on the Paramount+ originals.