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Paramount Plus launches March 4, taking over from CBS All Access (Update)
- CBS All Access will be renamed Paramount Plus on March 4, 2021 in the US and Canada.
- The streaming service will also launch in Latin America on that date, along with the Nordics on March 25, and Australia in mid-2021.
- More information on the rebrand and launch will be revealed on Feb. 24.
Update: January 19, 2021 – ViacomCBS has confirmed that the CBS All Access streaming service will be rebranded as Paramount Plus on March 4, 2021. The rebrand will happen in the US and Canada, while the service will launch in Latin America on that same date. The service will launch in the Nordics markets on March 25, and in Australia in mid-2021. ViacomCBS will reveal more about the Paramount Plus launch during an investor meeting on Feb. 24, where it will also offer updates on its Pluto TV and Showtime streaming services.
Original story: September 15, 2020 – CBS All Access is growing to become a much larger service, and ViacomCBS feels a rebrand is necessary to match. It’s renaming the expanded streaming service to Paramount Plus in early 2021 to reflect its wider scope — and, we’d add, better compete with rivals.
The fuller service will include movies and shows from a wider range of channels and studios, including Paramount, BET, and MTV. You can also expect breaking news, live sports, and “premium entertainment” that includes more streaming-only originals. Paramount Plus is getting five new originals as part of the announcement, including a miniseries based on the making of “The Godfather” (“The Offer”), the spy drama “Lioness,” a rethink of MTV’s “Behind the Music” (“Behind the Music – The Top 40”), the true crime documentary series “The Real Criminal Minds,” and a BET revival of “The Game.”
The CBS All Access rebrand will also make it available beyond North America. Paramount Plus will be available in Australia, Latin America, and Nordic countries sometime in 2021. The media giant has typically made shows such as “Star Trek: Discovery” available through services like Netflix in countries where CBS All Access wasn’t available, but it won’t have to do that as often going forward.
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The catalog should expand to include over 30,000 TV episodes and movies by the time the renaming takes effect.
ViacomCBS might not have had much choice. CBS All Access was quickly becoming a limiting name that implied access to only one channel’s content. The Paramount Plus name could give it help it compete with (or claim an edge over) services like HBO Max, Hulu, and NBCU’s Peacock, all of which promise access to a wide range of material despite naming schemes that sometimes suggest otherwise.
Whether or not that helps isn’t certain. CBS All Access and Showtime’s internet service had a combined 10 million subscribers at the start of 2020, but HBO Max already had 4.1 million as of July, weeks after its May 27 debut. That’s not counting established streaming giants like Netflix, which had 72.9 million subscribers in the US alone in the second quarter of this year. Ultimately, Paramount Plus will need enough originals to reel people in — a new name will only go so far.