The time of digital streaming platforms being neutral ground with offerings from multiple studios that normally compete in cinemas or TV airtime has slowly been winding down to past memories. Now, major media companies are taking much of their content out of the “neutral” services like Netflix and putting them in their own respective streamers, with exclusive access only to their own paying subscribers. Names like Disney+, HBO Max and Peacock are now the go-to for fans of Disney, Warner Bros. and Universal media respectively, even as they produce more original content along with their old. Now Paramount is jumping on that exclusive bandwagon too by reorganizing CBS All Access.
USA Today tells us that as of March 4, the streaming service CBS All Access, under ViacomCBS subsidiary CBS Interactive, is going to be replaced by Paramount+. With the rebranding, the original slate of CBS programming and exclusive content will now be joined by film and television media from Paramount Pictures and Viacom. The announcement of Paramount+ was given by parent company ViacomCBS way back in September of last year, and it was only Tuesday, January 19, that the actual date for the renamed service to launch was made known.
In addition to sports events and CBS channel shows, CBS All Access also carries programming from pay channels BET and Comedy Central. Its slate of original programs are primarily based on the iconic TV sci-fi “Star Trek,” with its new shows set across the length and breadth of the franchise’s sprawling timeline. They range from live-action as in “Star Trek Discovery” and “Star Trek Picard,” to humorous animation in “Star Trek Lower Decks.” All this was available at monthly rates of $5.99 ($9.99 ad-free), but ViacomCBS has yet to reveal the new cost for when CBS All Access becomes Paramount+.
As part of the rebranding, a new slate of original content is being produced for Paramount+. Some interesting future additions are a limited series depicting the production of iconic Mafia film “The Godfather,” entitled “The Offer.” Another is a reformulation of the police procedural drama “Criminal Minds,” but focusing on dramatizations of true crime stories. Time will tell how Paramount+ will fare against the likes of HBO Max and Disney+ in drawing viewers to subscribe for exclusive stuff, but this certainly is the trend now.
Image courtesy of TechCrunch