ViacomCBS is set to relaunch its CBS All Access service as Paramount Plus on March 4th, with a special event to introduce the new streamer on February 24th, the company announced today.
The service will also launch in Latin America on March 4th, followed by the Nordics on March 25th and Australia in mid-2021. The version of CBS All Access that is currently available in Canada will rebrand to Paramount Plus on March 4th, with an expanded offering being made available to subscribers later in the year. To better introduce Paramount Plus, and give a more comprehensive look at ViacomCBS’s overall streaming portfolio (that includes Pluto TV and Showtime’s OTT service), the company will host a two-hour event on February 24th following the company’s earnings call.
ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish previously announced in September that CBS All Access would rebrand to Paramount Plus, and noted in a later interview that executives decided upon the name because Paramount had more brand recognition than CBS. Paramount certainly has more name recognition internationally where the label has been used on more products (Paramount Plus already existed in some capacity in parts of Europe), but Paramount in 2021 isn’t exactly Disney or Warner Bros. As The Verge previously noted:
It would be one thing if the Paramount name was going to drive hordes of people to sign up because Paramount is synonymous with big franchises in 2020. Franchises like Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm are synonymous with Disney (alongside Disney live-action and animated films), so Disney Plus works. How many people are walking around going, “Oh right, the studio I closely associate with Mission Impossible, Transformers, and Sonic the Hedgehog movies.”
Still, ViacomCBS is going to try very hard to sell Paramount Plus as a must-have service for people. Or, more accurately, ViacomCBS is hopeful that Paramount Plus will take some attention away from Disney Plus, Netflix, Peacock, HBO Max, Apple TV Plus, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and wherever else people are streaming.
To do so, ViacomCBS is introducing a number of new originals for Paramount Plus. Those include The Offer, a 10-episode scripted miniseries about the making of Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather, a new iteration of MTV’s Behind The Music, and a revival of The Game. Plus, more than 30,000 additional episodes and movies from ViacomCBS’s various content houses (BET, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central) are headed to the streaming service. This could only be done because of the merger between CBS and Viacom in 2019.