High On Paramount Mountain: More Oxygen Pumped Into Brand Value

A well-known TV and/or movie title can mean much for a new streaming service. Think of what “The Office” has meant for Netflix and now NBCUniversal’s Peacock.

ViacomCBS is doing the same for its Paramount+ launch March 4, adding “Frasier,” “60 Minutes Plus,” “Ray Donovan,” “Rugrats” and “Star Trek.” But it might not be enough for consumers already entrenched with other premium streamers.

Maybe some numbers might help out -- like the $4 billion per year ViacomCBS expects to spend on streaming content, out of a total $15 billion for the company.

Paramount+'s overall TV messaging focused on characters/personalities during CBS’ airing of the recent Super Bowl broadcast. (Perhaps a future metaphor to come, some creatives had characters trudging up something called Paramount Mountain.)

New episodes aside, it’s also about the library product for any of these new premium services.



For many years, the real money for TV has been re-runs. This hinged on deficit financing productions for those networks airing enough episodes to land the really big money from U.S. and international syndication markets.

In addition, while the Paramount brand means something for many -- 90% know the name around the world according to the company -- typically that isn’t enough.

Users then ask what’s on the network. This becomes even more important, given the competition from Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Peacock and Amazon Prime Video, to name a few.

If consumers are thinking about adding services to their existing three-to-four streaming app list, what do they want?

Paramount+ might not be positioned that way -- nor other services. Instead, many perform as a broad-content premium streamer. For example, it also teased a “Halo” TV series for the new service, based on the longtime popular American military sci-fi video game on Xbox, geared to its MTV audience.

Also, is Paramount+ available on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung and Vizio? We don’t know yet. But those are other names consumers will focus on.

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