Is a sequence based mostly on the making of “The Godfather,” together with revivals of “Frasier” and “Inside Amy Schumer,” sufficient to reignite curiosity in a seven-year-old streaming service?
ViacomCBS executives are hoping so.
On Wednesday, the corporate staged a three-hour presentation previewing its newly named streaming platform, Paramount+, which can substitute CBS All Entry on March 4.
“It is a huge day, a brand new day, a brand new starting,” Shari Redstone, the chair of ViacomCBS, mentioned from the Paramount lot in Los Angeles within the digital occasion.
The streaming service may have a bonus in that it already has a number of million subscribers. However Paramount+ hits a mature market that’s crowded with formidable rivals: Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Max, Peacock, Discovery+ and Apple TV+.
The corporate made a slew of bulletins promising new content material, together with a weekly present from Trevor Noah, the host of “The Each day Present” on ViacomCBS’s Comedy Central community; a “Ray Donovan” movie; and new installments of “A Quiet Place” and “Mission: Unattainable,” film sequels that may begin streaming on the service 45 days after their theatrical releases.
Kelsey Grammer will convey again Dr. Frasier Crane for the “Frasier” revival, and the corporate mentioned the sketch sequence “Inside Amy Schumer,” off the air since 2016, would have 5 specials. There may even be a “Beavis and Butt-Head” film and a revival of the animated sequence “Rugrats.”
“We all know the way to make hits,” mentioned Bob Bakish, the chief govt of ViacomCBS. “Each streaming service has had a monster hit from one in every of our studios.”
The technique of licensing its reveals and movies, nevertheless, is one motive that ViacomCBS is lacking an terrible lot from its library. It has spent the higher a part of two years enjoying the position of a so-called arms vendor, promoting materials to different companies.
The corporate bought the again library of “South Park” to HBO Max for a reported $500 million. Well-liked sequence like “Jack Ryan,” produced by Paramount, have gone to Amazon. Paramount additionally bought the extremely anticipated “Coming 2 America” sequel to Amazon for a reported $125 million final yr. That movie, starring Eddie Murphy, will go surfing the day after Paramount+ makes its debut subsequent week.
ViacomCBS executives famous one factor that set its platform aside from Disney+ and Netflix: Its emphasis on stay sports activities and information. Nationwide Soccer League video games will seem on Paramount+, as will a few of its information packages, together with “60 Minutes+,” a by-product of the long-running tv newsmagazine with youthful correspondents who just lately appeared on “60 in 6,” a short-lived sequence from the short-lived streaming app Quibi.
A model of Paramount+ with out commercials will price $10 a month, the identical worth for the same CBS All Entry plan. The package deal with advertisements can be $5 a month, barely cheaper than the present $6 tier for CBS All Entry.
The corporate didn’t do itself any favors within the early going of Wednesday’s occasion: A streaming occasion touting its prowess in streaming was unexpectedly delayed by 32 minutes. (An organization consultant said the delay was “on account of last-minute registrations.”) Buyers stared at a blue display that mentioned little greater than “ViacomCBS Streaming Occasion, 4:15 p.m. ET,” even because the clock ticked. Rival corporations — together with Disney, Apple and Discovery — have staged comparable occasions during the last two years with a army precision.
ViacomCBS mentioned CBS All Entry and Showtime’s stand-alone streaming service had a mixed 19.2 million home subscribers, having added a bit of greater than 1,000,000 clients during the last three months. The companies have practically 30 million world subscribers, a quantity that firm executives instructed traders on Wednesday would balloon to between 65 million and 75 million by 2024.
The corporate has not publicly mentioned what number of subscribers are for CBS All Entry alone. Showtime’s streaming service will stay separate from Paramount+.