ViacomCBS Steps Up Streaming Fight With New Paramount+ Brand

ViacomCBS Inc. will rebrand its streaming service “Paramount+” early next year and add original series to its lineup, aiming to carve out a larger share of the online viewing market.

The company plans to turn its U.S. platform, currently called CBS All Access, into a global streaming service, according to a statement Tuesday. After a foray into Australia, Latin America and the Nordic countries in 2021, Paramount+ will roll out to more international markets.

The relaunch will include a new slate of Paramount+ programs, such as “The Offer,” a show that looks at the making of “The Godfather,” and “Lioness,” a CIA drama from the creator of “Yellowstone.”

The company did a preview of the service over the summer, adding more titles, including movies from its Paramount studio and old shows from its TV networks, ViacomCBS Chief Executive Officer Bob Bakish told Bloomberg TV’s Vonnie Quinn.

“We were thrilled with what we saw in August,” he said. “We see it as a differentiated and unique service.”

The new name is an attempt to parlay the Paramount brand into a streaming business with broader appeal. The CBS network, though widely watched, is associated with an older audience -- and doesn’t resonate as much outside the U.S.

“Paramount is an iconic and storied brand beloved by consumers all over the world, and it is synonymous with quality, integrity and world-class storytelling,” Bakish said when announcing the name.

Viacom, the owner of cable networks such as MTV and Nickelodeon, merged with CBS at the end of last year -- joining two businesses long under control of the Redstone family. Including online subscribers to the company’s Showtime cable network, streaming users topped 16 million in the most recently reported quarter.

The company also is seeing a rebound in advertising, Bakish said, saying that prices are now higher than before the pandemic.

Though CBS was a pioneer among the U.S. broadcast networks when it created All Access in 2014, the service hasn’t threatened major streaming platforms like Netflix Inc. and Walt Disney Co.’s Hulu. And the name gave it the feel of a niche player. It’s perhaps best known for offering “Star Trek” shows, but its lineup also includes “The Good Wife” spinoff “The Good Fight” and a reboot of “The Twilight Zone” from Jordan Peele.

The service also lets users stream CBS stations live and includes sports coverage, such as football, basketball and golf.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.