Paramount+ Completes Major Europe Rollout With German Launch
Paramount Global launched its streaming service Paramount in German-speaking Europe on Thursday, completing a major rollout across western Europe that, following last week’s Paramount bow in France, means the studio-backed streamer is now available in 45 markets worldwide.
Paramount is a relative late comer to the global streaming game, and its aggressive international push — next year Paramount plans launches across Asia, Africa and the Middle East — stands in contrast to the more cautious, cost-focused approach of established SVOD giants like Netflix and Disney , which have tempered their ambitions amid fears of a global recession.
Marco Nobili, executive vice president and international general manager at Paramount , acknowledges that the macroeconomic timing could have been better.
“I’m not going lie: the current economic moment definitely means there have been headwinds,” said he to The Hollywood Reporter . “That said, in moments of economic downturns there is often a move back to more affordable entertainment, and we think our offer is well-positioned compared to other forms of entertainment.”
Paramount German Service is Available for 7. 99 euro ($8. 40) a month or 59 euro ($62. 00) annually, a price point Nobili says is “incredibly good value for money” given the “mountain of entertainment” on offer, which will include U.S. hit series Yellowstone, Halo and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds; feature films including Top Gun: Maverick; and a vast library of sitcoms, dramas, animation and reality TV shows sourced from Paramount subsidies CBS, Showtime, Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon.
The conglomerate is also investing heavily into local original content. New series include the Scottish-German crime series Chemistry of Death , and the con-man dramedy The sheik from the acclaimed Swiss director Dani Levy (Go to Zucker! ) as well as the eco-cyber thriller A Thin line .. Paramount has ordered new episodes of Reality Shore ,, a spinoff from MTV. The show will be rebranded Germany Shore ..
Nobili said Paramount is still on target to greenlight 150 international originals by 2025 and said the group is also holding to its goal of reaching 100 million subscribers for its SVOD service by the end of 2024. Although he declined to give specific forecasts, he said that initial take in France one week after launch was “way beyond our expectations.”
According to the executive, Paramount’s multiplatform approach is what really sets it apart from other streaming services. In addition to its nascent SVOD service, the studio also operates the ad-backed streamer Pluto TV in 35 markets; has international versions of its cable network stalwarts MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central; and owns several big free-to-air channels outside the U.S., including Channel 5 in the U.K., Australia’s Network 10, Telefe in Argentina and Chile’s Chilevision. Paramount and its U.S. channel CBS are major “arms dealers”, licensing their top U.S. shows to third-party pay-TV channels around the world.
Paramount will continue to expand internationally and the studio will try to grow its direct-to consumer operations without compromising its traditional licensing or network business. Paramount was partnered with its traditional distributors for its European rollout. Sky subscribers in the U.K., Italy, and Germany will receive Paramount at no additional charge. Orange will also be doing a joint promotion in France, offering Paramount as part a new bundle to its local customers.
Nobili says, “We’re using a hybrid approach to different nations to make them as viable and scale up quickly.”
He says that Paramount will promote and share films and series across all platforms. The second season of Network 10’s hit sitcom 5 Bedrooms premiered first on Paramount . The first episode of Halo dropped on Channel 5 in the U.K., with the remaining episodes streaming on Paramount . The sixth season of Spotlight, a hit German teen series that airs on Nickelodeon locally, will stream exclusively on Paramount .
Nobili says, “I don’t believe there is a one size fits all approach here.” “We are going to use our platform and work with our partners in an intelligent way to make 1 plus 2 equal 3 .”
Paramount’s math will show whether it adds up over the next year. At the UBS Global TMT Conference this week, Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish said 2023 will peak investment, and peak losses, for Paramount’s streaming platforms. Building a global multiplatform ecosystem “takes a little while,” he noted.
Paramount’s ability to create that ecosystem is the big question. It will also determine how fast it can make it profitable.