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Paramount+ Exec Says Diversity Is Key Part of Global Strategy and Expansion Plans

Aubrey Meister

ViacomCBS’ Paramount+ is in the process of expanding its services internationally and continues to push diversity while reaching different audiences and creating new content. The company aims to reach 45 territories by the end of 2022.

For now, Paramount+ is available in the U.S., Canada, the Nordic region, and 23 markets in Latin America. It will be available in Australia soon.

Kelly Day, president of streaming at ViacomCBS Networks International, spoke at a Cannes Market presentation Monday, focusing on diversity and what it means for the company.

“One of the policies I am most proud of started in the U.K., and now is a global policy, is our ‘no diversity, no commission’ production policy. It applies to our entire production business in more than 180 countries,” she said during the presentation. “If you don’t have diversity on your crew or in your cast, then we are not going to commission (the content).”

Day continued, discussing Paramount+ content and where the company plans to place its ongoing investments.

Paramount Plus

Paramount+ is a subscription video streaming service that includes on-demand access to 12,000+ TV show episodes including originals Star Trek: Discovery, Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants, and MTV’s Laguna Beach. Meet captivating characters, catch up on your favorite sport, explore new worlds in the growing collection of Paramount+.

Previously under the name ‘CBS All Access,’ Subscribers can choose between their Essentials Plan (which includes ads) for $4.99/month, or go commercial-free with their Premium Plan for $9.99/month.

With their Premium Plan, in addition to not having ads, you will also get access to your local CBS affiliate to stream your local news, prime-time line-up, and late-night. You will also be able to download offline and watch select shows in 4K.

With the lower cost “Essential” plan, you will still be able to watch live NFL games, Champions League, and national news – but you will no longer get your local CBS affiliate like the old ad-supported plan.

With their new app, enjoy advanced recommendations, curated homepages, and new content categories while still being able to stream major live sports like NFL, College Football, College Basketball. Sports fans will also appreciate the service’s inclusion of NFL on CBS, PGA Tour, along with every match of UEFA Champions League and Serie A.

“Looking at our five-year plan, we see investment in content continuing to go up. Demand for content does not seem to be anywhere close to the top. We are going to see a lot more truly local content that is traveling globally,” Day said. “Credit where credit is due: Netflix has pioneered this investment in and development of incredible local originals. We have this belief that if we serve that local audience there are going to be lots of audiences all over the world that are also interested in those stories.”

She said she believes this will create better stories and content for the streaming service.

“We are going to see more language diversity, story diversity, cultural diversity that travels across global services. I think it is amazing. It is going to bring better content,” she said.

As Paramount+ reaches global audiences, subscription costs will vary from market to market. Day explained that the pricing structure was developed with the marketplace in mind, pointing out that consumers typically subscribe to several different streaming services. She said the streaming service is offered at a “competitive price in very competitive market.”

As a result, in some areas, a Paramount+ subscription can only cost $3 per month while the cost in Australia is A$8.99 ($6.74 in US dollars).

In Australia, Paramount+ will feature sports at no extra cost starting out, Day confirmed.

“Sports initially will be included in that price. But we will reevaluate thereafter,” she said.

Along with Paramount+, Day talked about ViacomCBS’ ad-supported Pluto TV, which the company acquired two years ago. As Paramount+ reaches global audiences, Pluto TV will also.

“Audiences love it. People still like that (linear), they like turning on TV, diving in and getting immersed in it. Pluto has taken a contrarian path against a heavily VOD environment of the last two year,” said Day. “People like that it is free, that it is very widely distributed (through deals with major vendors) it is intuitive and easy to use, does not require registration. We definitely see it as a compliment to Paramount Plus and there is a bit of back and for the between them — there is a Paramount Plus channel on Pluto — that serves as a barker or promotional channel.”

The company plans to launch Pluto TV in Italy and France later this year.

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