ViacomCBS rebrands as Paramount in push for streaming glory
Future. ViacomCBS is now Paramount. The name change comes as the media conglomerate prepares itself for a full-scale push into the streaming wars. While Wall Street is unsure if Paramount is big enough to compete in the world of Netflix and Apple, Paramount may write its next chapter by either becoming an attractive acquisition target or acquiring some competitors itself.
Streamline for streaming
After (re)merging in 2019, ViacomCBS thinks they need a new name for a new era.
- ViacomCBS announced that its rebranding as Paramount Global (Paramount, for short) after its iconic film studio.
- The new name signals Paramount’s shift to streaming, with its flagship service, Paramount+, being the key growth vehicle for the company.
- It clocked 32.8 million subscribers at the end of last year.
- It also announced that Paramount+ users will be able to access Showtime programming (Paramount’s other service) for a higher per-month price ($12 with ads; $15 without).
- But like Disney+ and Hulu, expect these to merge one day.
- Theatrical Paramount movies will also, unsurprisingly, go to Paramount+ immediately after their runs, starting in 2024.
Paramount plans on spending $6 billion a year on content for Paramount+ (up from $2.2 billion last year) with the hopes of hitting between 100-120 million subscribers by 2024.
Mountain to climb
For now, Wall Street is iffy if the new and improved Paramount will pay, and its stock price plunged 20% in after-morning trading. One analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch called the company’s plan “Not Mission: Impossible, but a tough road ahead.” Everyone is waking up to how much it costs to compete with Netflix, Apple, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and soon Warner Bros. Discovery.
But, at the end of the day, Paramount’s potential success in streaming all comes down to what will be on its services. For now, the company is betting on tried-and-true IP and reboots of library titles to draw as many fans as possible (plus as many Taylor Sheridan shows as the man can write).