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Paramount+ starts European pushParamount+ starts European push

Paramount Global launched its premium streaming service in the UK and Ireland Wednesday as part of a larger global expansion drive.

Alan Breznick

June 22, 2022

3 Min Read
Paramount+ starts European push

Paramount+, the premium streaming service formerly known as CBS All Access, officially crossed the Atlantic Wednesday with launches in the UK and Ireland.

The super-sized streaming service, which has big international expansion ambitions this year, is debuting with monthly and annual subscription plans. UK subs can sign up to Paramount+ for £6.99 ($8.58) per month or £69.90 ($85.75) per year, while Irish subs can choose between paying €7.99 ($8.42) per month or €79.90 ($84.17) per year.

Figure 1: With the ViacomCBS parent company now rebranded as Paramount Global, Paramount+ is staking its claim as a major global streaming player.  
(Source: ViacomCBS/Paramount) With the ViacomCBS parent company now rebranded as Paramount Global, Paramount+ is staking its claim as a major global streaming player.
(Source: ViacomCBS/Paramount)

Paramount Global, the new brand name of the old ViacomCBS parent company, is offering free seven-day trials of Paramount+ in both regions.

Maria Kyriacou, president of Paramount Australia, Canada, Israel and UK, said the UK market offers much growth potential for Paramount+. "The UK is a really strong creative hub," she said in a written statement. "It's a country that has strong production capabilities and a lot of respect for what our writers and our actors and all of our talent can do around the world."

Blanketing the globe

The UK and Ireland launches are part of Paramount Global's broader drive to cover the globe with the Paramount+ service. Just last week, Paramount Global launched its streaming service in South Korea, marking the company’s first foray into the Asian market.

Plans call for service launches in Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and France later this year, followed by India, the Middle East and Africa in 2023. With these pending rollouts, company officials aim to join the streaming big leagues with Netflix, Disney, Amazon and Apple. Indeed, Paramount Global has a goal of snagging more than 100 million streaming subs worldwide by 2024, up from earlier guidance in the range of 65 million to 75 million subs.

As part of those ambitious expansion plans, Paramount Global intends to spend lavishly on new programming for the premium streaming service. Earlier this week the company announced a slate of new international original series, including Murder of God’s Banker, a four-part docuseries, and Marie Antoinette Serial Killer, a fantasy horror thriller.

"As the service continues to expand internationally, there’s a great opportunity for content to travel globally, opening up a world of opportunities for talent and creators as we plan to commission 150 international originals by 2025, while delivering incredible value to subscribers on Paramount+," Marco Nobili, EVP and international general manager of Paramount+, said in a written statement.

Skeptics still abound

Market analysts remain skeptical about Paramount Global's plans, citing its heavy losses and the increasingly competitive global streaming market. Losses related to the direct-to-consumer (DTC) business at Paramount Global are expected to increase from $1 billion in 2021, to $1.5 billion in 2022, and then soar even higher in 2023. Moreover, Paramount Global expects its DTC-related expenses to balloon from about $2.2 billion in 2021, to about $6 billion in 2024.

Yet, at the same time, Paramount+ is growing steadily. The service added 7.3 million subs in Q4 2021, bringing its year-end grand total to 32.8 million. It then added another 6.8 million subs in Q1 2022, boosting its total to 39.6 million.

Related posts: ViacomCBS shares fall amid rebrand, greater focus on streaming CBS All Access to be rechristened Paramount+ ViacomCBS's 'super' streaming service set for early 2021 debut Paramount+ sets price for ad-free 'premium,' ad-supported 'base' tiers

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

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About the Author(s)

Alan Breznick

Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

Alan Breznick is a business editor and research analyst who has tracked the cable, broadband and video markets like an over-bred bloodhound for more than 20 years.

As a senior analyst at Light Reading's research arm, Heavy Reading, for six years, Alan authored numerous reports, columns, white papers and case studies, moderated dozens of webinars, and organized and hosted more than 15 -- count 'em --regional conferences on cable, broadband and IPTV technology topics. And all this while maintaining a summer job as an ostrich wrangler.

Before that, he was the founding editor of Light Reading Cable, transforming a monthly newsletter into a daily website. Prior to joining Light Reading, Alan was a broadband analyst for Kinetic Strategies and a contributing analyst for One Touch Intelligence.

He is based in the Toronto area, though is New York born and bred. Just ask, and he will take you on a power-walking tour of Manhattan, pointing out the tourist hotspots and the places that make up his personal timeline: The bench where he smoked his first pipe; the alley where he won his first fist fight. That kind of thing.

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