If you didn’t want to spend $ 9.99 a month to see the meme-worthy iCarly reboot, now you don’t have to. On Monday, Paramount + will launch its ad-supported Essential plan at $ 4.99 per month.
This lower-cost plan replaces the CBS All Access Plan, which included advertising but also gave access to local CBS stations. If you’re currently subscribed to this plan for $ 5.99 per month, you can keep it. But from Monday there will be no more new subscribers.
How is the Essential Plan different from CBS All Access? New tier subscribers will have access to Marquee Sports (including games in the NFL, UEFA Champions and Europa League), breaking news on CBSN and all Paramount on-demand shows and films. This includes offers from ViacomCBS’s own channels such as BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Smithsonian Channel and more. However, local live programming from CBS stations will no longer be included. So if that’s a deal breaker, you might want to subscribe to CBS All Access this weekend.
The existing Premium plan ($ 9.99 per month) removes commercials and adds support for 4K, HDR, and Dolby Vision. As with other streaming services, only premium subscribers have access to mobile downloads.
Both plans include access to parental controls and up to six individual profiles. The service does not currently have a watchlist. But that has become a fundamental characteristic of being competitive in this area, so it’s not a question of if, but of when.
For comparison, the basic Netflix plan costs $ 8.99 per month, but it only lets you watch on one screen at a time. That makes it harder to share an account with family or friends. Their standard tier is $ 13.99, making it a bit more expensive than Paramount +.
Earlier this week HBO Max revealed their own lower-cost, ad-supported subscription tier priced at $ 9.99 per month. The merger of WarnerMedia and Discovery could also have a big impact on the popular streaming service, but how this will affect content libraries or possibly even a combined streaming app remains to be seen.
Ultimately, consumers will make their decisions about what services to pay for based on a variety of key factors such as content, price, and user experience. On the content front, Paramount + plans to announce a number of iconic titles when the new schedule goes live on Monday in hopes of attracting new subscribers. But the low-cost plan may appeal to those who aren’t necessarily into top movies – they just want an affordable add-on to their current streaming offering that gives them access to some of the programming that Netflix lacks.
ViacomCBS, owner of Paramount +, said it added 6 million streaming subscribers worldwide through their Paramount +, Showtime OTT, and BET + services in the first quarter to end the quarter with 36 million users worldwide. Most of them are from Paramount +.