Paramount Plus is still figuring out Paramount Plus

Paramount Plus celebrated its first birthday yesterday. During its first year, the service debuted a SpongeBob movie, added original shows like 1883and occasionally surprised us with exclusive offers such as the second season of Bad, which was originally a CBS exclusive show. In addition, Paramount Plus managed to sweep the highly anticipated live action Halo series – which debuts this month – from sister service Showtime.

But a year after its launch, Paramount Plus is still battling an identity crisis: The streaming service has yet to prove why we should care about Paramount Plus beyond its big name. Star Trek catalog and obsession with Yellowstone† So far, it seems that Paramount has struggled to find the sweet spot between supporting its existing business arms while investing in its tentpole streaming service.

“I think they are afraid to make difficult choices. That’s what stays with me,” said Andrew A. Rosen, founder of PARQOR and former director of digital media at Viacom. The edge† “There are fundamental questions that aren’t unreasonable to ask that they don’t have answers to.”

Many of those questions relate to Paramount Plus’s hitherto unusual content strategy – a sort of anti-Netflix approach. When the service was rebranded from CBS All Access in March 2021, it promised to offer a “mountain of content” that brought all of Paramount’s assets under one roof. Live sports, live news and entertainment, and a backlog of programming — from BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, and the Smithsonian Channel — promised to give ostensible “fans” of CBS All Access even more to watch. while also appealing to a wider audience.

The problem is that some of the content owned by Paramount (born ViacomCBS) that should drove viewers to the service was not available to stream there. South Park, for example, is currently alive on HBO Max after the streamer won a bidding war for the series just over two years ago. Another popular Paramount title, Yellowstoneis currently premiering new episodes on the Paramount Network cable channel and, confusingly, Peacock.

Tanya Giles, streaming chief programming officer at Paramount, recently explained the Yellowstone matter at least. She said, according to deadline, that then-ViacomCBS “had content licensing agreements well before” [Paramount Plus] was conceived and our solution for that, our great solution, was to have a wide universe of Yellowstone to spend 1883its prequel, exclusive to [Paramount Plus]† The licensing business has undoubtedly delivered short-term gains, but it doesn’t fit well with a long-term streaming strategy.

That leaves Paramount Plus in a bind. It has had a few catchy names so far, such as: Star Trek and SpongeBob spin-offs. But facing services like Disney Plus and Netflix regularly debuting a ton of new originals and dumping billions in content for their platforms, the question becomes: Where are Paramount Plus’ other flashy originals? Where is it? Stranger Things or WandaVision

“They have one of the best libraries across the board,” said Julia Alexander, senior strategy analyst at Parrot Analytics and former reporter at The edge† “The problem is they don’t have a high acquisition value title. All their high-acquisition titles are elsewhere.”

Paramount Plus has decades of crime, comedy, and children’s programming — and it’s all pretty good — but Paramount Plus has yet to make its own Strange things moment, which could help it seriously position itself as a streaming competitor. Alexander adds that even with that great back catalog of franchise programming, Paramount Plus, to stay competitive, you have to seize the opportunity that one of his shows could be next. Yellowstone and therefore has to live on Paramount Plus to bring in new subscribers.

To its credit, the company seems to realize that the content and licensing strategies it had when ViacomCBS launched Paramount Plus a year ago will no longer work if it wants to run a successful streaming business. The company went through a major management restructuring last summer, and Paramount boss Bob Bakish said at a recent earnings event that the company plans to reclaim some of its older titles, including South Parkin the coming years — indicating that Paramount plans, at least immediately, to remain competitive in the streaming space.

At the same time, Paramount is starting to fix its flashy content problem. The service will debut some highly anticipated titles this month, including: Star Trek: Picard and Halo† it also recently teased upcoming projects from Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan. And the company introduced a bundle with Showtime last fall, which at $12 a month for essential and $15 a month for premium is a great bargain for two premium services that usually cost between $5 and $11 a month, respectively.

Some of this will take time. South Park will not be in service until 2025 and satisfy the hunger for even more Yellowstone projects takes a minute. Until then, the service will have to make do with its back catalog and the occasional big name.

“They haven’t built a Netflix competitor, but they’ve built something that is useful to fans of different types of content from them around the world — and they have a real audience around the world,” Rosen says. “To claim that they have failed is a bit rude. But at the same time, it’s also a bit of an exaggeration to claim that they have a competitor to Netflix.”

Paramount Plus is growing. The service reported 32.8 million subscribers on its most recent revenue call. (Disney Plus, launched in 2019, had about 73 million paying subscribers in its first year.) Alexander also says it’s too early to write off Paramount Plus, adding that it could take six to eight months for Paramount’s securities to take effect. changing business strategy.

“I think it’s too early to discount Paramount Plus like it’s too early to discount any of them,” says Alexander. “They’re still trying to figure it all out.”

Even with a sloppy content strategy straight out of the gate, Paramount Plus showed it is doing have value in the streaming space. It just has to prove to us that it’s worth staying ahead of.

Frank Broholm had acquired considerable experience in writing and editing publications before recruited by The Media Today Chronicle News portal as Editorial Manager. His key task is to conduct effective business reviews based on the most recent business…