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Video/Media

Paramount+ ad-supported service to launch June 7

A less expensive, ad-supported version of ViacomCBS's recently launched Paramount+ streaming service will debut on June 7 and fetch $4.99 per month, or $49.99 per year, according to an FAQ item first spotted by Android Police.

The "premium," ad-free version of Paramount+, the supersized successor to CBS All Access, launched on March 4 for $9.99 per month, or $99 per year. The coming ad-supported Paramount+ service will cost $1 less per month than the ad-supported version of CBS All Access that it's about to replace.

Like the just-launched HBO Max with ads service, the ad-supported "Essential" plan for Paramount+ will come with some limitations. The big one is that Paramount+ with ads will not include a local, live feed of the CBS network. However, it will include 30,000-plus movie and TV titles (including original content from ViacomCBS), live streams of CBS's NFL and UEFA Champions League coverage, and a 24/7 feed of the CBSN.

ViacomCBS will use the Essential plan to expand the reach of Paramount+ and draw in consumers who don't want to pony up for the pricier ad-free version. ViacomCBS added 6 million streaming subs globally in Q1 2021, ending the period with a base of 36 million paid streaming subs.

ViacomCBS's latest forecast calls for Paramount+ to have between 65 million and 75 million subs worldwide by 2024.

With the June 7 launch, Paramount+ with ads joins a growing group of premium SVoD streaming services that offer cheaper, ad-supported tiers. Here's a snapshot:

  • HBO Max: $9.99 per month with ads, or $14.99 per month without ads.
  • Hulu SVoD: $5.99 per month with ads (or $59.99 per year), or $11.99 per month without ads.
  • Peacock: $4.99 per month for Peacock Premium (with ads), and $9.99 per month for Peacock Premium Plus (no ads). Peacock also offers a free, ad-based tier that supports a smaller content library than its two subscription-based, premium-level tiers.
  • Discovery+: $4.99 per month with ads, or $6.99 per month without ads.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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