Paramount Plus in Australia: What we know so far
In the tail-end of 2019, the Viacom-CBS merger fused the power of Paramount Pictures and the TV talents of CBS, creating a single media powerhouse, ViacomCBS. It was just like when Disney acquired Fox, but nowhere near as exciting. With their powers combined, the Viacom and CBS partnership came to a climax when the company revealed its new streaming service, Paramount Plus, revealing a teaser for the service during this year’s Super Bowl.
Yes, there are already too many streaming services but thankfully, here in Australia, Paramount Plus will be replacing an existing streaming service, the woefully inept 10 All Access. In the U.S., Paramount Plus will replace CBS All Access. The plan is to combine the television shows from CBS with content from the various properties under the wider ViacomCBS banner, including but not limited to Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and MTV.
Here’s what little we know about Paramount Plus, and what we expect based on the information available.
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Partly confirmed: Paramount Plus TV shows
- New originals confirmed
- 10 All Access TV shows should transition over
- No word yet on ViacomCBS-owned content that isn’t currently available on 10 All Access
We won’t know the full extent of the local Paramount Plus TV show library until closer to launch. We do, however, have a loose idea of the type of shows you can expect, and which original productions are heading to the service.
Firstly, every 10 All Access TV show that’s currently available should make the jump to 10 All Access, as will be the case with CBS All Access in America. So if you’re currently subscribed to 10 All Access, your NCISs, Frasiers, and Survivors should find a new home on Paramount Plus.
Secondly, we know that ViacomCBS has a few original productions planned to launch on Paramount Plus.
The headline original will be The Offer, a 10-part drama miniseries that details producer Al Ruddy’s experience creating what’s widely considered one of the best films of all time, The Godfather. Production is off to a scandalous start, however, after Armie Hammer (Call Me by Your Name) stepped down from the lead role of Ruddy, after a series of abuse allegations came to light in early 2021.
Next up is a revival of the 2006 sitcom The Game. An hour-long sequel series which picks up where the original left off back in 2015.
It might be too soon for a Criminal Minds revival (which just wrapped up in 2020), but Paramount Plus will be launching a true-crime docuseries based on the series’ success. Details on the series, and how it links to the original Criminal Minds, are slim at the moment. And fans of Yellowstone should keep their ears to the ground for Lioness, the upcoming spy series from Yellowstone’s creator. It follows a young CIA recruit on a mission to befriend the daughter of a terrorist group leader to take down the organisation from within. It sounds very CBS.
Lastly, Paramount Plus will bring together some of the most popular content from other ViacomCBS subsidiaries, like Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and MTV. That includes more originals in the works, like Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years, an animated prequel series targeting younger audiences, and an MTV’s Behind the Music special series which ranks the top 40 artists of the last 40 years.
Here’s that list of Paramount Plus original TV shows:
- The Offer
- The Game
- The Real Criminal Minds
- MTV’s Behind the Music
- Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years
Partly confirmed: Paramount Plus movies
- U.S. subscribers will get a raft of movies from Paramount Pictures
- No confirmed details on movie availability in Australia
In the U.S., Paramount Plus will naturally become the home to movies from Paramount Pictures. There are some huge blockbuster franchises in the mix: Transformers, Terminator, and Mission Impossible. As well as all-time classics, such as The Godfather, No Country for Old Men, Titanic, and Mean Girls.
The issue here in Australia is, Stan currently holds the streaming rights to Paramount’s collection of movies and TV shows. Stan and Paramount signed a “long-term output agreement” back in 2019. It’s not an exclusive output deal. In fact, at the time of writing, you can find both Transformers and Mission Impossible on just about every streaming service in Australia but it is a significant chunk of Stan’s streaming library and losing that content will hurt the local punter.
So there’s every chance that Paramount Plus will continue to license its movies to Australian streaming services while also offering them on its own platform. But if it’s anything like the mass Disney exodus of 2019, where Disney pulled all of its content from Stan to host exclusively on its own platform, it could spell bad news for Stan.
Partly confirmed: When might Paramount Plus release?
- Sometime in mid-2021 after an early U.S. launch
All we know so far is that Paramount Plus will launch in early 2021 in the U.S. That much was confirmed in a recent press release from ViacomCBS. Australia does get a mention, but the timeframe offered is less specific, stating only that there will be an “initial debut in Australia, Latin America and the Nordics in 2021”.
We’ll know more on 24 February when ViacomCBS throws its 2-hour reveal event.
Not confirmed: How much do we think Paramount Plus cost?
- No pricing details announced yet.
- 10 All Access currently costs $9.99 in Australia
That’s the $9.99 question. As it stands, 10 All Access is completely overpriced considering what’s on offer. Especially given the breadth of content already available for free on 10 Play. ViacomCBS is (allegedly) adding a lot more value to the service with the Paramount Plus rebrand, but even then, charging more than $10 per month would be criminal unless the upcoming streaming service has an ace up its sleeve that we don’t already know about.
Disney Plus is getting a fair price hike in 2021 ($8.99 to $11.99), but it’s bringing over 150 TV shows and over 400 movies to subscribers with the more mature Disney Plus Star.
What does this mean for 10 All Access subscribers?
- The Paramount Plus rebrand is confirmed
- Existing users will be shifted to the new Paramount Plus platform at launch
- More details to come 24 February 2021
At the moment, nothing. We’ll know more from 24 February after the service’s official reveal but there are only a few likely outcomes. First is that the initial phase of the Paramount Plus rebrand is just that in Australia, a rebrand, where 10 All Access users continue to pay $9.99 per month for the same content they already have, just under a different platform.
Second likely scenario is that Paramount Plus gets revised plan pricing, as Disney Plus recently announced, after the surge of new content. But that would be a bit of a middle-finger to subscribers who already pay too much for 10 All Access.
Whatever the future holds for 10 All Access will become clear after the 24 February reveal.