Insights

Paramount+ : Summiting the Streaming Peak

30 March, 2021

CBS All Access officially rebranded itself Paramount+ on March 4th 2021. This also signalled the start of the streamer’s international expansion in earnest. On launch day it was available in the US, Canada, and Latin America. These regions were followed quickly by the Nordic countries where it was made available on March 25. Australia is scheduled to get its turn later this year. Here we take a look at how Paramount+ has performed in its first few weeks.

What are the most in-demand series available on Paramount+ in the 3 weeks following its launch?

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From the top Paramount+ originals above we can see a few things. First, Star Trek clearly rules the roost and will continue to be incredibly valuable IP for Paramount+ to act on going forward. The top 3 Paramount+ original series are from the Star Trek universe. Secondly, it is notable that the only new original series to launch with Paramount+ that made it into the top 10 was Kamp Koral: Spongebob’s Under Years. This only ranked as the 10th most in-demand original overall. This says something about how the Paramount+ launch lies in the grey area between a completely new platform launching and a simple rebrand of CBS All Access. It was not a completely new platform launching with a new slate of originals, so its established series have been its top performers 3 weeks from launch.

Given that the newly rebranded platform’s existing originals are its best performing series, it is natural to wonder how the attention and marketing around the new platform impacted demand for series available on the platform. Below we take a look at how demand for the top original series changed following the launch of Paramount+:

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Among the most in-demand Paramount+ original series, the rebrand has on average boosted demand for shows about 3-4% - not remarkable, but given that these shows are receiving this additional audience attention without releasing new content it is a good sign for the rebrand’s ability to hype Paramount+ content.

Exceptions to the 3-4% rule of thumb are:

The Stand – Demand for the show was down 13% in the weeks following Paramount+’s rebrand. This is due to the fact that the series finale was released on February 11, so it is a natural post-finale slump which likely would have been even larger without the extra attention driven by the rebrand.

After Trek and No Activity saw the largest growth in their demand following the Paramount+ rebrand, with No Activity more than doubling its average demand in the 3 weeks following launch compared to the 3 weeks before. These two series had the lowest demand among Paramount+’s top original series. This has a general learning that the most obscure series often stand to gain the most from increased attention around a new platform with audiences discovering previously unknown content.

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Probably more than any other streaming platform, Paramount+ is banking on nostalgia by leveraging ViacomCBS’s extensive catalog of classic content. More than just trying to lure subscribers with an enormous library of old favorites, Paramount+ is planning a significant number of reboots and spinoffs to make the most of their existing IP. These include multiple spin-offs of the popular Yellowstone series (Y: 1883 and 6666 [working title]), reboots of classic series like Frasier, Rugrats, and Criminal Minds, and series versions of classic films including Fatal Attraction, Grease, and Love Story. We will be watching closely to see how effectively Paramount+ can activate fans’ nostalgia.

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