Paramount+ dropped several big announcements in yesterday's investor event, but the headlines outshined some important storylines that reveal a greater picture of the streaming service and some trends that may benefit or hinder its competitors. The Streamable took a closer look at the presentation to find the hidden information you need to know.
First, the big headlines:
- Showtime Subscriptions to Be Accessible Within Paramount+ Starting This Summer
- 'South Park' New Episodes, Full Catalog Moving to Paramount+
- All the New Movies & TV Shows Paramount+ Announced at 2022 Investor Day
Now, the under-the-radar announcements:
Until yesterday, Paramount kept its streaming numbers close to the vest, refusing to break out numbers specifically for Paramount+. On this slide, we can see specifically how the service grew.
If we use those numbers, we can reverse-engineer the subscriber growth for their other streaming services, which is mostly made up of Showtime, which looks positively anemic. It’s no wonder Paramount+ will now offer the Showtime content within the Paramount+ app.
|Quarter||Total Subscribers||Paramount+ Subscribers||Paramount+ Adds||Showtime OTT Subscribers||Showtime Adds|
|Q1 2021||36 million||16.5 million||+4.8 million||19.5 million||+1.3 million|
|Q2 2021||42 Million||21.4 million||+4.9 million||20.6 million||+1.1 million|
|Q3 2021||47 million||25.5 million||+4.1 million||21.5 million||+900,000|
|Q4 2021||56 million||32.8 million||+7.3 million||23.2 million||+1.7 million|
Will Paramount ever kill off the standalone Showtime streaming app? It might make sense from a streamlining standpoint. But based on yesterday’s presentation, it seems there’s still some appetite for a standalone offering. The company’s investment certainly seems geared entirely toward Paramount+, once again leaving Showtime out in the cold.
Taking a page out of its own Pluto TV service, Paramount+ began offering virtual live channels in December. Fans of vintage TV, “Survivor,” “Star Trek,” or “PAW Patrol” can kick back and watch endless episodes back-to-back.
This sort of “background TV” experience is proving wildly popular. Tom Ryan, Paramount Global’s President & CEO of Streaming said that people who use the linear channels spend 40% more time on the service than they did previously.
It makes sense. Many of us leave the TV on while we make dinner or clean the house. It’s not like you’re going to watch “Squid Game” during those activities, but an old “Beavis and Butt-Head” rerun might fit the bill.
Over the last year, Netflix took a hit, losing two of its most popular licensed shows, “Friends” to HBO Max and “The Office” to Peacock. But these numbers from Paramount+ suggest that the hours spent viewing those shows may not always be active viewing hours. A streaming service needs that “set it and forget it” binge viewing option. The more familiar, the better.
Right now, Peacock is the only other SVOD service to offer a similar feature.
Football Remains King
Unlike almost every other SVOD service, Paramount+ offers live NFL games. That proved to be a wise decision, since football was the content responsible for more sign-ups than any other. “In the span of just one football season, the NFL on Paramount+ has increased by 88% in active subscribers and by 67% in minutes streamed,” said George Cheeks, Chief Content Officer News & Sports. UEFA soccer also drove a large number of new subscribers.
Also notable is the success of the “Yellowstone” spinoff, “1883.” Paramount+ is doubling down on that type of entertainment, letting creator Taylor Sheridan crank out a half-dozen other series for the platform.
Top Paramount+ Acquisition Drivers
- NFL (sports)
- 1883 (series)
- iCarly (series)
- A Quiet Place Part II (movie)
- PAW Patrol: The Movie (movie)
- Infinite (movie)
- Clifford the Big Red Dog (movie)
- SpongeBob: SquarePants: Sponge on the Run (movie)
- South Park: Post-COVD Specials (mini-movies)
- UEFA (sports)
Paramount+ may look different, depending on the country where users access it. According to Tom Ryan, President & CEO of Streaming, “We’re taking the annual plan we rolled out in the U.S. and we’re expanding it internationally. At the same time, we’re creating brand new offerings, like mobile-only plans for markets where value is key and mobile devices dominate streaming consumption.”
This tracks with other competitors who flex the price or offer mobile-only options in developing markets.
Company leaders didn’t draw special attention to one slide in their presentation - their list of most-consumed titles by hours viewed. The image briefly appeared behind Chief Programming Officer of Streaming, Tanya Giles. The list of the 10 most-watched programs on Paramount+ is notable because of the sheer age of the programs. Only two of the 10 debuted within the last decade (“PAW Patrol” and “Star Trek: Discovery”). Other shows like “Survivor,” “NCIS,” “Big Brother” and “SpongeBob SquarePants” have been on the air for 20 years.
This suggests that while users may join Paramount+ for flashy titles like “1883” or “A Quiet Place Part II,” they’re spending the bulk of their time watching shows they’ve probably already seen. That gets back to the brilliance of those linear channels. But it also flashes a warning signal that Paramount+ is going to need to generate some newly bingeable content that isn’t reliant on decades-old franchises.
Top Paramount+ Consumption Drivers
May 1, 1999
May 31, 2000
A reality show contest where sixteen or more castaways split between two or more “Tribes” are taken to a remote isolated location and are forced to live off the land with meager supplies for roughly 39 days. Frequent physical challenges are used to pit the tribes against each other for rewards, such as food or luxuries, or for “Immunity”, forcing the other tribe to attend “Tribal Council”, where they must vote off one of their players.
August 12, 2013
January 17, 2012
A group of the country’s most creative and skilled tattoo artists compete for a hundred thousand dollars and the title of Ink Master. The stakes couldn’t be higher with “living canvasses” donating their skin to be permanently marked in this adrenalized competition elimination.
April 20, 1998
Each Challenge pits numerous cast members from past seasons of reality shows against each other, dividing them into two separate teams according to different criteria, such as gender, which show they first appeared on, whether or not they’re veterans or rookies on the show, etc. The two teams compete in numerous missions in order to win prizes and advance in the overall game.
July 5, 2000
American version of the reality game show which follows a group of HouseGuests living together 24 hours a day in the “Big Brother” house, isolated from the outside world but under constant surveillance with no privacy for three months.