After lots of speculation about what would happen in Australia with 10 All Access – owned and run by Viacom CBS as a local version of CBS All Access – the announcement has finally been made that Paramount Plus will be the broadcasting giant’s new streaming service in Australia, set to launch in August 2021. Key to the launch will be the prestige TV from the premium Showtime network, which will join Nickelodeon, MTV and other brands under the new Paramount Plus banner.
What is Paramount Plus?
After six years operating as CBS All Access, Viacom CBS decided to step up their streaming service efforts on a global scale in March 2021, rather than the US-only focus that CBS All Access had concentrated on up to that point. Here in Australia, 10 All Access acted as a local version of that service, but was missing some key shows and features – such as premium channel Showtime’s content, which has been licensed to Stan in Australia for several years.
With the Paramount Plus launch in Australia, Viacom CBS hopes to change all that. Their first move will be to take back their Showtime content for exclusive use on Paramount Plus – though Stan will retain the rights to many of the Showtime shows it currently streams – at least for now – while all future output from that channel looks likely to be exclusive to Paramount Plus.
The new streaming service is set for an August 2021 launch with the exact date yet to be announced. Unlike the already-operating US service with its ad-supported option, the Australian service is likely to remain with a single ad-free offering, priced at $8.99 per month with an introductory free trial.
What’s Coming to Paramount Plus?
Viacom CBS has openly stated that they’re not intending to wall off their content completely; they’ve long been open to licensing it to other streaming services such as Netflix (Star Trek: Discovery) and Amazon Prime Video (Star Trek: Picard). Even their flagship show Why Women Kill made its way to SBS On Demand after premiering on 10 All Access. It seems likely that going forward, newly launched shows will continue to make their exclusive debuts on Paramount Plus before potentially heading out to other streaming services to reach a wider audience.
The existing 10 All Access service – launched right at the end of 2018 and quietly co-existing with free catch-up service 10play – will be rebranded as Paramount Plus in August and should see a good amount of new content from that point onwards. It’s not known yet exactly what shows the Australian version will get – just like with Disney Plus, there are existing deals that have to expire before Paramount Plus can get some of their shows back. One show that’s already been flagged as heading to Paramount Plus is the brilliant series Dexter, which will be moving from Stan to its new Paramount Plus home.
Kids’ Shows, Showtime, Movies and More
The various other popular brands owned by Viacom CBS will likely end up on Paramount Plus as well, such as the hugely popular kids’ channel Nickelodeon, with TV shows like Dora the Explorer, Avatar: The Last Airbender and brand-new exclusives such as Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years, boosting the amount of kids’ content on the service. In a market where Disney Plus is attracting millions of families, that’s going to be an important element – even though much of the Nickelodeon content remains licensed to other networks in Australia for now.
Like Nickelodeon, the Comedy Central brand and content is licensed to other companies in Australia, but as those rights expire we’d expect to see at least some of the key Comedy Central shows make their way to Paramount Plus.
As mentioned above, the acclaimed Showtime premium network is also owned by ViacomCBS and its new shows, movies and docos will likely be heading for Paramount Plus in the future, included in the monthly subscription price – a substantial bonus, considering that in the US, Showtime has required a separate subscription to its own streaming service.
And of course, along with the Paramount name comes a huge library of movies from the legendary studio – though there are no plans to make any of them exclusive to the service. The most likely outcome is that, just like with TV shows, you’ll see Paramount Pictures movie titles make their streaming service debut on Paramount Plus before moving on to other outlets.
Australian Shows on Paramount Plus
Everything you can access now on 10 All Access will make its way across to Paramount Plus, but there are multiple new shows in the works that will premiere on the new service – and several of them are Australian productions.
The popular Network 10 show Five Bedrooms will be getting a second season thanks to a partnership with Paramount Plus, and will debut ad free on the service. There’s also Last King of the Cross, a true crime thriller about Sydney gangster John Ibrahim, which is sure to get plenty of attention.
You can expect to see all of Network Ten’s shows there alongside a growing catalogue of Paramount Plus exclusives and originals made right here in Australia. We’ll keep you up to date as the launch date gets closer with announcements about the exact launch date, a free trial, and what you can expect to be adding to your streaming queue!
How Much Will Paramount Plus Cost?
Here’s the good news: Paramount Plus in Australia will cost less than 10 All Access does now, while delivering more content. It’s been officially announced that the service will cost $8.99 per month, a dollar cheaper than 10 All Access right now. As there’s only the one price mentioned, we can assume it’ll be free of advertising, just as 10 All Access is now. You can expect a 30-day free trial as well, though whether that’ll apply to existing 10 All Access customers is unknown.
In the US, Paramount Plus has an ad supported tier as well as an ad free one, with pricing adjusted accordingly. But the ad supported version of the service actually costs about the same as what we’ll be paying here for the ad free experience – so that’s a win for Australian viewers.