Paramount+ to launch in August with ‘guaranteed pipeline’ of entertainment

Network Ten owners Viacom CBS will launch video streaming service, Paramount+, in Australia on Wednesday, 11 August 2021, replacing Ten All Access.

The service will launch with a $8.99 per month subscription fee, although a seven day free trial period will also be available to new users. It will also be ad-free.

“We have big ambitions for the service, and we think Australian audiences will respond really well to the global and local nature of the content,” said ViacomCBS Australia and New Zealand, chief content officer and executive vice president, Beverley McGarvey.


Paramount+ will offer subscribers content from international brands and production studios including Showtime, BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, the Smithsonian Channel and Sony Pictures Television, in addition to local content.

“We have a pipeline, a guaranteed pipeline of incredible entertainment content and premium entertainment content such as Showtime. Added to that, we have a local linear service so we can commission local originals, and utilise the audiences we have… to drive audiences to Paramount+,” McGarvey told Mumbrella.

“All of our competitors have one of those things but none of them have both,” she added.

Paramount+ joins an increasingly crowded streaming market in Australia. Nine-owned Stan has more than 2.3 million active subscribers according to recent financial reports and late last year increased its premium plan from $17 to $19 a month, while its basic plan remains steady at $10 a month.

Roy Morgan data from late 2020 indicated that 17.3 million Australians (82.1%) are already watching a subscription TV service in an average four weeks. Netflix is Australia’s most watched subscription television service, with an estimated 14.2 million viewers in an average four weeks, however, viewer figures do not reflect paid subscriptions, which Netflix does not disclose for the region.

Telstra and News Corp owned Foxtel has a reported 7.7 million viewers, in a four week period, while Amazon Prime has 3.3 million viewers, closely followed by Disney+ which now has 2.8 million viewers.

To enter this competitive market, McGarvey said the network would be doing be a “significant” launch campaign for Paramount+.

“We have big plans… and as we approach launch and well beyond there will be very strong on platform and off platform marketing, publicity and social activation,” she added.


For McGarvey, success for Paramount+ is all about retention, and content that resonates well with Australian audiences, enough to start commissioning follow-up seasons.

“The evolution of content curation will continue to grow and evolve in the coming years, and we need to be really flexible and adaptable with that, to serve audiences,” she stated.

“The content that we commission for the streaming service, really will service the environment and those types of audiences. We are launching Five Bedrooms series two on Paramount+ and season one was on Ten.”

Five Bedrooms is an Australian comedy drama television series that initially aired on the free-to-air network.

Additional locally produced drama content to air exclusively on the platform includes Spreadsheet, Last King of The Cross and feature film 6 Festivals.

Produced by Northern Pictures and filmed in Melbourne, Spreadsheet is a comedy series about a divorced, mother-of-two who is looking for sex without commitment.

Based on the autobiography of John Ibrahim and produced by Helium, Last King of The Cross is an operatic story of two brothers, Sam and John Ibrahim, one worshipped by his father and the other scorned.

“We have good spread for what will be on the service in the first six months, but I think we have ambitions to ramp it up,” McGarvey said of the local content on the platform. “ We know that Australians love Australian content.”

On the international front, audiences on Paramount+ can also expect exclusive global premieres, such as The First Lady (starting Viola Davis, Gillian Anderson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Aaron Eckhart, Dakota Fanning), Dexter, The Gilded Age, Yellowjackets and many more.


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