Starting in 2024, Paramount+ will become the exclusive streaming home for all new Paramount Pictures movies in the U.S. in the "pay-one" TV window following their theatrical runs.
ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish made the announcement in an investor event on Tuesday that led with the news that the company is changing its name to Paramount as of today.
Both moves underscore the company’s focus on streaming and the race to deliver compelling original content amid the intense competition among entertainment companies.
The company also announced Paramount+’s expansion into France via a new partnership, and unveiled a new slate of international content and extensions of existing IP franchises.
Currently, Paramount movies debut either on Paramount+ or Epix during the pay-one home entertainment window that follows exclusive theatrical releases.
Bakish did not address the expected length of theatrical windows, or whether some films might be released simultaneously with their theatrical releases or on a so-called day-and-date basis.
In 2021, some Paramount movies, including “A Quiet Place Part II” and “Snake Eyes,” went to Paramount+ 45 days after their theatrical debuts. More family-oriented fare like “Paw Patrol” had day-and-date releases, but the company has now said that their sequels will have theatrical releases.
Paramount Pictures CEO Brian Robbins has said he is committed to exclusive theatrical releases for some movies, including tentpoles like 2022’s “Top Gun: Maverick” and coming installments in the “Mission: Impossible” franchise (both Tom Cruise vehicles).
“Mission: Impossible 8,” “The Smurfs Musical” and a Transformers animated offering are on the release roster for 2024.
The company also confirmed that starting this summer in the U.S., Paramount+ subscribers will be able to upgrade to the Paramount+/Showtime bundle with a choice of two plans: one with ads priced at $11.99 per month and a premium no-ads package at $14.99 per month. Showtime will also remain available as a standalone premium OTT service and through third-party streaming platforms.
On the international front, ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI) is expanding the Paramount+ streaming service into France through a new long-term strategic partnership with the French studio/distributor Canal+ Group.
Canal+ system subscribers now have access to an exclusive Paramount+ bundle that includes access to Nickelodeon, Nickelodeon Junior, Nickelodeon Teen, MTV, Paramount Channel, Game One, J-One, BET and Comedy Central on its channels, select Showtime original series, and Paramount Pictures movies. The movies will air on Canal+ channels six months after theatrical release, in line with new French media chronology regulations.
Some Paramount+ content will also be available via the Paramount+ app, connected TVs and OTT platforms. Pricing and the local content offering will be announced later.
The French expansion was announced in a ViacomCBS investor event on Tuesday that led with the news that the company is changing its name to Paramount as of today.
With Paramount+ and SkyShowtime, the company will now have streaming services in more than 60 markets across the U.K., Latin America, Canada, Australia, South Korea, the Caribbean and all major European markets by the end of 2022.
Plans call for expanding Paramount+ in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
In addition, the company unveiled six new original scripted series for international distribution, and the latest extensions of some of Paramount’s most lucrative franchises — including Star Trek, Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, SpongeBob Squarepants and “A Quiet Place Part III.”