Paramount Plus, a new streaming service replacing CBS All Access next week, will cost $10 a month to stream ad free on a premium tier and will add a cheaper, $5-a-month “base” tier in June that is supported by advertising.
That cheaper tier marks a $1 discount to CBS All Access’ entry-level price, but this base tier will no longer have the live stream of CBS’ broadcast network, which CBS All Access does. CBS All Access currently costs $6 a month or $60 annually for its tier with advertising, or $10 a month or $100 annually to go ad-free. It’s also offering a year of the service at half price, which will will carry over to Paramount Plus.
The Paramount Plus premium tier will include the breadth of everything on Paramount Plus, including live streams of the CBS Network and local channels; though this is an ad-free tier, there will be advertising in the live channels.
The base tier includes ads during the shows and movies you watch on demand, and it will limit how much programming you can watch. For example, a base tier subscriber will be able to watch NFL games but won’t be able to see all of Paramount Plus’ live sports. The base tier will have all Paramount Plus originals, but it won’t be able to access every title in the catalog.
The news was announced during an investor event on Wednesday, which was expected to unveil the scope of Paramount Plus and clarify key details about the streaming service, including cost and a flood of new programming that ViacomCBS hopes will draw in new subscribers, even as customers’ choices in streaming have exploded in the last year and a half.
Paramount Plus marks yet another new video service to roll out, like Disney Plus, HBO Max, Apple TV Plus, Peacock, Discovery Plus and others that came before it. Like them, Paramount Plus hopes its particular concoction of TV shows, movies and originals will hook you on its vision for TV’s future. But these so-called streaming wars also complicate how many services you use — and pay for — to watch your favorite shows and movies online.
Paramount Plus’s new pricing compares with Netflix’s cheapest tier at $9 a month and its most popular plan is at $14. Apple TV Plus is $5 a month, Disney Plus is $7 a month (going to $8 next month), and HBO Max is $15 a month. All of those services are ad-free.
Among competitors that have ad-supported options, Hulu is $6 a month with ads and $12 a month ad-free. Peacock has a free, limited tier with ads, but you can pay to unlock its full catalog. Those paid, premium Peacock memberships are $5 a month with advertising, or you can upgrade to an ad-free version for $10 a month.
CBS All Access currently costs $6 a month or $60 annually for its tier with advertising, or $10 a month or $100 annually to go ad-free. It’s also offering a deal to get, which will will carry over to Paramount Plus.
Paramount Plus will launch in the US and Latin America on March 4.