May 13, 2021

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ViacomCBS to join streaming services from March

3 min read


Media scion Shari Redstone has sought to convince investors of the promise of ViacomCBS’s next streaming service, as the company behind Paramount Pictures, CBS and Nickelodeon tossed its hat into the Hollywood streaming battle.

The service, called Paramount Plus, will offer viewers access to thousands of TV episodes and movies starting in March, covering hits such as The Godfather, Titanic, Star Trek and Sponge Bob SquarePants, for $ 10 per month. In June, the company will launch a $ 5 per month option with ads and more limited programming.

ViacomCBS plans to grow its streaming revenue to more than $ 7 billion annually by 2024, when it expects to reach 65 million subscribers through its services, double the current level.

Paramount Plus is at the heart of Redstone’s plans to revive the family empire built by his father and keep it relevant in the cut-throat world of video streaming.

Once among Hollywood’s most powerful companies, ViacomCBS has struggled with the disruption of streaming, as Netflix has moved customers away from mainstream television.

Speaking to investors on Wednesday, Redstone paid tribute to his late father Sumner, who helped shape the modern entertainment industry, by coining the phrase “content is king” and inspiring characters in HBO. Succession.

“It’s not your dad’s Viacom, and it’s not my dad’s either,” Redstone, 66, said in a rare public appearance. “This is a ViacomCBS which is being redesigned for a new type of market.”

Like the health of Sumner redstone In decline in recent years, Shari has taken over Viacom and CBS, bringing the companies together in 2019 with the goal of giving them more leverage to compete with much bigger rivals such as Disney and AT&T.

On Wednesday, ViacomCBS executives spent hours touting the shows and movies available on Paramount Plus, promising “a new reality series every month” as well as reboots of popular 1990s hits, such as Frasier, Rugrats and The real world.

Shares of ViacomCBS have gained over 70% this year as investors anticipate ambitious push diffusion.

But the company is entering a crowded and competitive market.

In 2019, Disney launched its eponymous streaming service, triggering an industry-wide battle as the biggest groups in Hollywood and Silicon Valley sought to claim the future of entertainment. Over the past year and a half, Disney, AT&T, Apple, Comcast, and Discovery have all launched streaming services.

By the end of 2020, ViacomCBS was reaching nearly 30 million subscribers across its streaming services worldwide – a far cry from the 203 million and 95 million Netflix and Disney Plus command respectively.

ViacomCBS seeks to differentiate itself by offering live news and sports, two types of entertainment that major streamers such as Netflix have refrained from.

The company, which owns CBS News and owns the rights to broadcast sports such as the NFL, said Paramount Plus would include access to 1,000 live sporting events per year, as well as a live stream from CBS channels. News.

ViacomCBS has also said it will air the next Paramount films between 30 and 45 days after they leave theaters – shortening the traditional 90-day window that has been dismantled by the coronavirus pandemic. But Viacom halted ahead of a more dramatic decision by rival Warner, which is showing all of its films this year at the same time they make their theatrical debut.



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