ViacomCBS becomes Paramount, doubling down on streaming efforts

The news: ViacomCBS is no more—the media company will rebrand under the name Paramount to reflect its goal of becoming a major streaming player following strong revenue growth, per The Verge. The company will also make its flagship streaming brand, Paramount+, the home of all its theatrical releases beginning in 2024.

A streaming dark horse? Paramount+ frequently flies under the radar compared with competitors like Netflix, but it and Paramount’s other major streaming brands, Pluto TV and Showtime, have grown steadily as they invest in original content.

  • Paramount’s streaming services quietly thrived in a year riddled with questions about the long-term growth potential of streaming after competitors flooded the market. The company now boasts 56 million subscribers across its streaming services, and subscription revenues were up 84% year over year.
  • Its ad-supported streaming channels are also performing well: Ad revenues up 26% year over year. Customers are generally content with the number of ads being served on Paramount+’s cheaper, ad-supported tier—a rapidly growing streaming segment. Fifty-nine percent Paramount+ subscribers said the number of ads they see is “reasonable,” per a January survey from Hub Research. Discovery ranked first at 60%.
  • Paramount has plenty of space to move up, too. A Q3 2021 TVision report ranking streaming competitors by share of time spent ranked Paramount+ (1.6%) and Pluto TV (1.1%) 13th and 16th, respectively.

What’s next: Like many streaming competitors, Paramount is investing in original content to give viewers an in-home theater experience.

  • The media giant already has lucrative properties under its belt like Star Trek and Spongebob Squarepants that appeal to viewers of all ages, and its portfolio is growing: Paramount is tapping into video games with the upcoming release of a Halo show and a Sonic the Hedgehog series.
  • Franchise films will also play a large role in Paramount’s future. Paramount has announced sequels or expansions to series like A Quiet Place and Transformers. The company hasn’t said how long new films will remain in theaters before arriving on Paramount+, but it will likely stick to the 45-day release window that it and Disney already use.