Paramount+ unveils global expansion strategy
To celebrate the launch of Paramount+ in the UK and Ireland, Paramount brought Hollywood to London. The company recreated a Walk of Fame in the city’s West End, created an immersive HALO experience in Piccadilly Circus, and held a blue carpet event with a bunch of Paramount stars, including Kevin Costner, Viola Davis, and Sylvester Stallone.
The launch is an important step for Paramount+. It’s the start of its expansion into Europe, and the chance to bring Paramount Global’s portfolio of iconic TV shows and blockbuster movies to a new audience. It’s also a chance to showcase the momentum in its global content development and the power of its differenciated distribution strategy.
The service has expanded rapidly since its US launch. In 2021, Paramount+ launched in Australia, Canada, Latin America including Brazil, and the Nordics. It debuted in South Korea earlier this month, its first foray into Asia. Up next: Italy in September, then France, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria in December. The service will go live in India in 2023.
To reach audiences in these markets economically and efficiently, Paramount tailors its distribution strategy for each market. It offers consumers access through hard bundles, direct-to-consumer, and channel stores.
Paramount+’s launch in the UK and Ireland illustrates how Paramount can combine these approaches in one market. Thanks to a partnership agreement with Sky, Paramount+ is available to Sky Cinema subscribers at no additional cost, and other Sky customers can subscribe to the service as an add-on. Paramount+ is also available direct-to-consumer through the Paramount+ app for iOS and Android and across supported connected TV devices and OTT platforms. The streaming service’s debut later this year in Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria will follow the same model. It will debut in France through a partnership with CANAL+.
Marco Nobili, Executive Vice President and International General Manager of Paramount+: “We want to invest in customer choice, so people can access our service on the devices or platforms that they’re already using.”
In South Korea, Paramount+ is available on the TVing platform, which is part of a partnership with CJ ENM. The deal also includes the production of seven original series, the first of which will premiere later this year on Paramount+ in all international markets.
Paramount’s owned platforms in each region also serve as a marketing and content distribution engine. In the UK, the broadcast network Channel 5, linear networks MTV and Nickelodeon, and free streamer Pluto TV supported the Paramount+ launch. For example, as part of the cross-company campaign, Channel 5 is airing the first episode of HALO to encourage viewers to watch the rest of the series on Paramount+.
Marco Nobili: “We often say we have something for everyone, but I like to say that we have something great for everyone."
Paramount+ in the UK and Ireland includes some of the most popular content from the Paramount portfolio, like SpongeBob SquarePants, HALO, Dexter, South Park, NCIS, and the Star Trek franchise. It will also include original UK dramas Sexy Beasts, A Gentleman in Moscow, Flatshare, The Burning Girls, The Ex-Wife, and The Blue, and unscripted series Haunted, The Box, and Rise of the Tech Titans.
Nobili: “We often say we have something for everyone, but I like to say that we have something great for everyone. We have great content across every content pillar. Paramount+’s content mix includes scripted dramas, sci-fi, reality shows, kids & family, adult animation, movies, and music content, plus live sports and news in some markets. I don’t think any other service on this planet is great at doing all of those things at the same time. I think we are.”
Paramount+ announced earlier this month that it plans to commission 150 international originals by 2025. Paramount’s production footprint includes a dozen studios in more than 20 countries, which feed the company’s content ecosystem across its streaming platforms, as well as its linear and broadcast TV networks. This global content strategy led it to become one of the top producers of Spanish language content in the world.
Paramount's connection to creative communities in different regions of the world also gives it unique access to local projects and talent, which is important when creating entertainment to attract local and global audiences.
The upcoming Taylor Sheridan series 1923, for example, includes British star Helen Mirren. VIS, the international studio division of Paramount, inked deals with more than two dozen international storytellers, including Paco Cabezas, Manolo Cardona, Noah Stollman, Penelope Cruz, and John Leguizamo. It has an exclusive deal with the Oscar-winning, Argentinian director Juan José Campanella, whose Paramount+ original The Envoys is the leading Spanish-language original in the U.S.
As with distribution, Paramount+ tailors its content approach for the audiences in each market, weighing the costs of production and acquisition against the potential returns.