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Paramount+ is heading down under.
Hot on the heels of reporting its first-quarter financial results Thursday, ViacomCBS announced that its flagship streaming service will launch in Australia and New Zealand on Aug. 11.
The service will be priced at a competitive 8.99 Australian dollars ($6.75) per month and will include 20,000 movies and TV episodes from brands spanning Paramount Pictures, Showtime, BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Smithsonian Channel and Sony Pictures Television.
ViacomCBS has an existing presence in Australia thanks to its ownership of Channel Ten, which was acquired in 2017. ViacomCBS said last year that the local linear channel’s online service, 10 All Access, eventually would be rebranded and folded into Paramount+. That moment will arrive in August.
Said Beverley McGarvey, chief content officer and executive VP, ViacomCBS Australia & New Zealand: “We are poised to become as powerful a player in streaming as we are in television. By leveraging the iconic Paramount brand, leading-edge infrastructure, along with an incredible supersized pipeline of must-see content, Paramount+ will deliver an exceptional consumer entertainment experience.”
ViacomCBS is also leveraging Channel Ten to bootstrap its original content offerings for the impending local streaming launch. Thursday’s announcement featured a mini-slate of Australian content, including a coming-of-age film titled 6 Festivals and a commission for a second season of the popular family drama Five Bedrooms. The company unveiled plans for two new series: Spreadsheet, a sex comedy about a single mom, and gangster drama Last King of the Cross, based on the best-selling autobiography of notorious street thug John Ibrahim.
“We want to be able to use Paramount+ to tell strong Australian stories,” McGarvey said. “The role Network Ten plays is actually really critical. As a network we have a reach of 10 million to 12 million a month, so we can let that audience know we have a new service coming.”
At A$8.99 a month when it launches, Paramount+ will be priced on the low end of the increasingly crowded local streaming landscape — cheaper than Netflix ($10.99), local service Stan ($10), Disney+ ($11.99) and Foxtel Now ($25); but slightly pricier than Amazon Prime ($6.99).
Outside the U.S., where the bulk of its users are located, Paramount+ is available in Canada, Latin America, Poland (as Paramount Play), Hungary, Russia (as Okko Paramount+), the Middle East and Nordic nations.
During ViacomCBS’s earnings announcement Thursday, CEO Bob Bakish touted bold ambitions for Paramount+ with movies. In June, the company will add 1,000 film titles to the streaming service’s library, and launch a “mountain of movies” ad campaign. Next year, the company intends to have at least one new movie a week on the service, matching Netflix.
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