Paramount+, although a relatively new streaming service, has made quite a name for itself over the past year or so since its launch—er, well, rebrand. With a few gripping original TV series, nostalgic Nickelodeon gems, and exclusivity for brand new Paramount Pictures films shortly after theatrical release, Paramount+ might be your new favorite streaming service.
That said, there are many other video streaming services out there, and they all have certain perks. Although most of us used to pay for cable and watch almost everything, nowadays, we only pay for select streaming services that draw our attention the most. (Or, you pay for Netflix, and your friend pays for Hulu, and so on until you manage to share logins for everything.) So is Paramount+ special enough to spend your money on?
There’s a lot of information to cover when it comes to Paramount+, but we’re here to make this your one-stop-shop. Practically everything you need to know about Paramount Plus is right here for easy viewing.
Paramount Plus has a more complex history compared to other video streaming services. Until March 2021, Paramount Plus (styled as Paramount+) used to go by a different name: CBS All Access.
CBS All Access launched in 2014 with exclusive shows from the CBS channel, but it never gained traction amidst more popular streaming services. Although CBS All Access had around eight million subscribers when it rebranded, its parent company, ViacomCBS, had a more well-known name under its belt—enter Paramount Pictures. (Side note: ViacomCBS and CBS split companies in 2006 and merged again in 2019, shortly before the Paramount+ launch in 2021.)
Because more people worldwide know of Paramount Pictures, and there’s a ton more exclusive content under the Paramount umbrella, it seemed an obvious decision to go from CBS All Access to Paramount+. When the transition officially took place on March 4, 2021, there were over 30,000 episodes and over 2,500 movies to stream instantly.
Like almost every streaming service out there, you have to pay a monthly subscription fee to use Paramount+. There are two different plans to choose from, both of which have an annual payment option if you want to save a bit of money. Both price points also give you a seven-day free trial to test out the service.
The Essential plan costs $4.99 per month (or $49.99 per year) and gives you access to all the streaming content on Paramount+ with limited ads. If you don’t want to see ads and you want access to your local CBS station live, you’ll probably want the Premium plan ($9.99 per month or $99.99 per year).
It’s worth mentioning that although you won’t see ads for other products and services with the Premium plan, you will occasionally see Paramount+ content ads that you can’t skip; you’ll also see traditional commercials while watching live TV.
Paramount+ also offers a bundle that includes Showtime in addition to Paramount+. The Essential + Showtime plan costs $11.99 per month (or $119.99 per year), while the Premium + Showtime plan costs $14.99 per month (or $149.99 per year).
Paramount+ has a wide slew of content available from different known channels, like Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, MTV, the Smithsonian Channel, and of course, Paramount Pictures and CBS. Although Paramount+ seems to be a haven for past and present Nickelodeon fans and offers a live TV option for anyone who doesn’t want to pay for cable, what else does it offer? There are three main categories of content from Paramount+: TV shows, movies, and live channels.
With Paramount+ being so new, unfortunately, many of its TV series are incomplete. Quite a few shows have standing contracts with other streaming services or other limiting factors that only allow Paramount+ to share specific episodes or seasons with subscribers. This will hopefully change as time goes on and contracts run out.
Paramount+ is, of course, home to many CBS original shows, like The Stand, Why Women Kill, and Star Trek: The Discovery. You can also binge episodes of well-established fan favorites like NCIS, South Park, The Amazing Race, Hawaii Five-0, and more.
Since its launch on March 4, 2021, Paramount+ has come out with quite a few original TV series, including 1883, Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years, and others, and has plans for many more in the future, like the Halo series.
There have also been quite a few popular reboots drawing old and new fans to the streaming service. Just to name a few, there’s the Criminal Minds reboot, a Frasier reboot starring Kelsey Grammer, and an iCarly reboot starring most of the original cast. You can also find old favorites streaming here, like The Brady Bunch, Cheers, 7th Heaven, I Love Lucy, and Happy Days.
With popular channels under Paramount Media Networks, like Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, and the Smithsonian Channel, there are also a lot of established hits ready to binge as soon as you have the service. Check out a few of the most popular TV shows from these channels:
- SpongeBob SquarePants (Nickelodeon)
- The Fairly Odd Parents (Nickelodeon)
- The aerial series (Smithsonian Channel)
- Awkward (MTV)
- Best of the Roast (Comedy Central)
- Jimmy Neutron (Nickelodeon)
- Inside Amy Schumer (Comedy Central)
- Avatar: The Last Airbender (Nickelodeon)
- The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)
- Drake & Josh (Nickelodeon)
- MTV Cribs (MTV)
- Drunk History (Comedy Central)
- How Did They Build That? (Smithsonian Channel)
- Jersey Shore (MTV)
- Zoey 101 (Nickelodeon)
- Teen Mom (MTV)
- Younger (TV Land)
Paramount Pictures is famous for its movies, which is great news for subscribers. Some Paramount Picture films will even premiere on Paramount+ 45 days after their theatrical releases. To name a few of the movies you can expect on the platform, there’s Mission Impossible 7, Top Gun: Maverick, A Quiet Place II, and Scream 5.
On top of getting to see new movies a mere 45 days after their theatrical run ends, there’s a ton of other great movies and movie series to binge. Here are a few of the top hits right now on Paramount+:
- Fight Club
- The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run
- Rosemary’s Baby
- Paranormal Activity
- Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
- Mean Girls
- Jack Reacher
One of the biggest appeals to Paramount+ subscribers is the opportunity for live channels and live sports without paying a high price for cable. As an Essential or Premium subscriber, you’ll have access to live NFL games and live soccer games within the Champions League. You’ll also be able to view your local CBS station live for news.
As of right now, Live TV is available to any Paramount+ subscriber. The only exception is that Premium subscribers get access to their local CBS station and local CBS news, whereas Essential subscribers only have access to local CBS news. These are just a few of the channels you’ll have to choose from if you’re feeling nostalgic for Live TV:
- Animation Favorites: Popular animated series for kids, like The Fairly Odd Parents and The Loud House
- 24/7 Laughs: Funny episodes of popular comedy series or sitcoms, like The Neighborhood and Hot in Cleveland
- TV Classics: Iconic series like I Love Lucy, The Twilight Zone, and The Love Boat
- Reality TV Competition: Popular competitive shows like Ink Master: Redemption and The Challenge: All Stars
- Movies: Catch popular films as they come on, like Down to Earth, Infinite, Almost Famous, and Downsizing
If you want access to more live sports, you’ll want to spring for a Premium plan. Upgrading to a Premium plan gets you access to live events for The Masters and the PGA Tour/Championship, NCAA Division and the Men’s Basketball Championship, SEC, and Combate Global MMA.
It’s also worth mentioning that Live TV is available in most of the United States, but not currently anywhere else in the world.
Most people will probably stream Paramount+ on their phones (Android/iOS) or their TVs, both of which you can do through an app. At this point, Paramount+ is available on almost every platform, but here’s a breakdown of all devices you can use with the service:
- Desktop Browser
- iPhone and iPad
- Android Phone and Tablet
- Apple TV 4 (tvOS) & 5 (4K)
- Android TV
- Portal TV
- Vizio TV
- LG TV
- Samsung TV
Paramount+ is widely available in North America, many countries in South America, Australia, and only a few countries in Europe. The streaming service plans to expand its availability in Europe and other places in 2022. Live TV Channels, however, are currently only available in select cities throughout the United States.
If you don’t see your country on this list, you can always set up a VPN and put yourself in a country that has access to Paramount+, or you’ll have to wait until the service officially comes to your country.
- United States
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
When comparing Paramount+ to other streaming services, the two largest categories to look at are price and content. Most modern streaming services have decent apps on smartphones, TVs, and web browsers, so that’s not a factor we need to look at.
In terms of pricing, Paramount+ is pretty competitive. As a refresher, the Essential plan is $4.99 per month, and the Premium plan is $9.99 per month. Here’s what pricing looks like for a few other popular streaming services:
- Netflix: Pricing starts at $9.99 per month for the Basic plan, but many people will probably pay more for the Standard plan ($15.49 per month) or Premium plan ($19.99 per month).
- Hulu: The ad-supported plan costs $6.99 per month, or you can pay $12.99 per month for no ads.
- Disney+: This streaming service is currently only $7.99 per month, though you can expect that price to go up in the next few years. The service is still relatively new but has gained a lot of popularity, so Disney will likely capitalize on that.
- HBO Max: To view all of the premium content on HBO Max with no ads, it’ll cost you $14.99 per month. If you’re okay with seeing ads, it’ll cost you $9.99 per month.
- Apple TV Plus: This is an affordable streaming service at $4.99 per month, but it only shows Apple TV originals.
Paramount+ has a lot of appeal for a few very specific audiences. If you’re nostalgic for old Nickelodeon series, becoming a Paramount+ subscriber is an easy decision. Pretty much all episodes of all shows from Nickelodeon or Nick Jr are on Paramount+ for you to binge and relive your childhood. Or, if you’re a Star Trek junkie, Paramount+ has you covered with all the old shows and all the new shows that still have episodes coming out.
Similarly, if you’re a fan of any of the other channels under Paramount’s umbrella, like CBS, Comedy Central, the Smithsonian Channel, MTV, TV Land, or BET, you’ll probably get a lot of use and enjoyment out of this streaming service. That said, since the service is still relatively new post-rebrand, some TV series are incomplete, and you can often find content in Paramount+ and another streaming service.
Overall, Paramount+ is an excellent streaming service that’s pretty affordable. Without even signing up for a free trial, you can view all the TV shows, movies, and other content available on Paramount+ to see if there’s anything you’re interested in. Over time, I’d hope that Paramount+ will start snatching up contracts with other streaming services to bring more exclusive content and complete its TV series with missing episodes.
Enjoy all of Paramount+’s terrific programming as well as sports and live channels now.