Wednesday, May 04, 2022

Paramount Plus Sets June 2022 UK Launch Date, Pricing

Paramount+, the global streaming service from Paramount Global, will launch in the UK and Ireland on June 22nd.

Paramount’s President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Bob Bakish, announced the international plans for the service as the company reported its Q1 earnings, and revealed that Paramount+ is close to 40 million subscribers in its active markets.

Paramount+ will also see launch in South Korea in June, with further launches planned in Italy, Germany, France, Switzerland and Austria in the second half of the year. Additionally, in 2023, Paramount+ will launch in India in partnership with Viacom18, as part of a recently-announced agreement, and is poised to participate in this fast-growing market.

“Paramount is known for its leading portfolio of premium entertainment brands and a robust content engine that fuels our rapidly expanding streaming service, Paramount+. This year will be monumental for our streaming strategy as we accelerate our global ambitions, rapidly expanding Paramount+ in Europe beginning with the UK, Italy, Germany, France and more by the end of this year and debut in Asia with South Korea in June, followed by India in 2023,” said Raffaele Annecchino, President and CEO, International Networks, Studios and Streaming, Paramount Global.  “With an already expansive global footprint and a strong, long-term market-by-market strategy, we are well-poised to continue our positive momentum.”

Maria Kyriacou, President, Australia, Canada, Israel and UK, Paramount, added: “The addition of Paramount+ to our strong portfolio of free-to-air, pay TV and streaming services will broaden the range of choice available to our audiences in the UK and Ireland. Paramount+ will be a one-stop destination for Paramount’s biggest brands, where fans of all ages can find exclusive original premium content, global hits, and discover a world of favourites from Paramount’s vast catalogue.”

In the UK, Paramount+ will be available online via and on mobile and a wide range of connected TV devices via the Paramount+ app, via broad direct-to-consumer distribution through Apple, Amazon, Google, Roku and Samsung, with more platforms to be announced in the coming months. Users will be able to sign up to the service for £6.99 (€8.30) per month/£69.90 per annum (€83.00) in the UK and Ireland, after a free seven-day trial.

Paramount+ will launch on Sky platforms in the UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany and Austria in 2022 as part of a new multi-year distribution agreement that also includes the extended carriage of Paramount’s leading portfolio of pay TV channels. Sky Cinema subscribers will get the bonus of Paramount+ included at no extra cost.

Paramount+ will launch in the UK more than 8,000 hours of content, spanning new and exclusive Paramount+ originals, hit shows and popular movies across every genre from Paramount’s brands and production studios, including Nickelodeon, Showtime, Paramount Pictures, Comedy Central, and MTV, as well as new seasons of Yellowstone. It will also have Paramount Plus originals, including the Yellowstone prequel series 1883, Star Trek original series like the new Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, the Halo TV series based on the hit video game franchise, The Mayor of Kingstown, The Offer, The First Lady, Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber, The Man Who Fell to Earth and more.

The streaming service is also developing UK-produced originals for the service. Already announced are dramas like The Blue, The Burning Girls, The Ex-Wife, Flatshare, A Gentleman in Moscow, Girl, Taken and Sexy Beast, as well as unscripted fare like The Box, Chalet Girls, Fashion House, Haunted, LA Hairdressers, MH370: The Lost Flight, Pervert: Catching the Strip Search Caller and Rise of the Tech Giants.

The service will also include access to the wider library of Star Trek content, as well as that of South Park, the MTV Shores series and family content such as SpongeBob SquarePants, Paw Patrol and Rugrats, the company said.

Meanwhile, Paramount Global said it added over 6 million streaming subscribers in Q1 but missed revenue estimates, hurt by growth in advertising sales. Subscriber additions were driven by Paramount+, which added 6.8 million subscribers in the quarter, bringing the service’s total subscribers to almost 40 million, while there were declines in direct-to-consumer services subscriptions.

Net earnings attributable to Paramount fell to $433 million (€409.9m), from $911 million a year earlier.

Bakish said the quarter “once again demonstrated the power and potential of Paramount’s unique assets and the company’s continued momentum.”

“Our differentiated playbook – including a broad content line up, a streaming business model that spans ad-supported and subscription, and a global portfolio that links streaming with theatrical and television – drove strength across our entire ecosystem […0 Our strategy is working and our execution is strong, as we remain focused on delivering a great experience for consumers and a compelling financial model to our shareholders,” he added.

The entry of Paramount+ in South Korea will come under a strategic partnership with Korean entertainment powerhouse CJ ENM that was unveiled in December. Under the pact, the streamer is set to debut as an exclusive bundle with TVING, CJ ENM’s streaming service, marking the first market launch for Paramount+ in Asia.

And in India, Paramount+ is set to become available next year. “In 2022, we’re continuing to expand Paramount+ to the biggest markets in the world, starting with the U.K. and South Korea in June,” said Paramount president and CEO Bob Bakish on Tuesday’s earnings call. “And, we will be in more major European markets, including Italy, France, Germany … in the second half of the year. Additionally, in 2023, Paramount+ will launch in India in partnership with Viacom 18 as part of a recently announced agreement and is poised to participate in this fast-growing streaming market.”

After ending 2021 with a presence in 26 markets, Paramount+ is this year set to become available in more countries, including in France with Vivendi’s Canal+. Paramount is also planning to roll out its SkyShowtime streaming joint venture with Comcast/Sky in more than 20 European territories encompassing 90 million homes, beginning this year. Overall, announced and planned launches are currently set to lead to Paramount having a paid streaming service in more than 60 markets globally by the end of 2022.

Just like its peers, the conglomerate has been focusing on growing its streaming business, including subscription service Paramount+ and advertising-based video on-demand service Pluto TV. Paramount+ ended 2021 with 32.8 million subscribers, and the company is targeting to hit 100 million by 2024.

However, Paramount management has emphasised that it is not focused as much on how many markets it reaches, but on strategically mapping out which countries to expand into, when and how, including through possible partnerships. Executives have said that this tailored market-by-market approach allows the company to expand its streaming business quickly but at a lower risk, while taking advantage of established or new partnerships and ensuring diversified revenue streams.

For example, Bakish said on Tuesday’s earnings call that making Paramount+ available in foreign markets via “hard bundles” offered by distribution partners, such as Canal+ in France, allows for quick user growth without high subscriber acquisition costs.

About its U.K. launch plans, Paramount+ said on Tuesday that it would offer “a broad content slate of more than 8,000 hours of content for the whole family, spanning new and exclusive Paramount+ originals, hit shows and popular movies across every genre from Paramount’s world-renowned brands and production studios, including Showtime, Paramount Pictures, Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon.”

It touted access to the likes of the Star Trek universe, new seasons of Taylor Sheridan’s Yellowstone series, as well as South Park and the MTV Shores franchise, along with kids and families favorites like SpongeBob SquarePants, PAW Patrol and Rugrats.

“Some of the most anticipated Paramount+ and Showtime originals from the U.S., U.K. and other international markets will be available in the U.K. and Ireland when the service launches, including Halo, 1883, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, The Offer, Mayor of Kingstown, Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber, The First Lady, The Man Who Fell to Earth, Queen of the Universe and Jerry & Marge Go Large,” it added. Plus, Paramount+ U.K. promised “unlimited access to blockbuster movies with new releases like Scream 5, time proven classics such as Grease and Star Trek, and family friendly selections.”

Originally published: May 03, 2022 at 20:17 BST

Original source: Advanced Television; H/T: Special thanks to @RegularTweetsUK for the news!; Additional sources: Carlow Live, What to Watch, The Hollywood Reporter.

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