During its Investor Day 2022, the company presented its financial results and unveiled its business strategy for the year ahead, when it plans to reinforce its streaming initiatives through a rebranding, over 50 new international originals, expansion to new markets and new bundle offers.
ViacomCBS -soon to be renamed Paramount- hosted its Investor Day 2022 on Tuesday, February 14, to present a comprehensive update on the company’s streaming strategy and its plans for the year ahead in terms of production and international expansion.
50 new international originals for 2022
Paramount+, the global streaming service from ViacomCBS, announced a slate of six international scripted original series. The initial slate is part of the streamer’s plans to greenlight 50 new international scripted originals in 2022.
Through this new slate, Paramount+ will expand its pipeline of premium internationally originated content to serve all types of audiences and increase the service’s robust content offering. Nearly all of these international titles will be developed and produced for Paramount+ by VIS, ViacomCBS’ international studio, which has a vast production footprint spanning more than 20 countries and 15 languages.
The slate includes new titles and recommissions, including the following, which will premiere on Paramount+ in Latin America, Canada and Australia where the service is currently available, as well as in all markets where the service will launch in 2022:
A Gentleman in Moscow (UK): Based on the best-selling novel by Amor Towles, this drama series tells the story of Count Rostov who, in 1922, finds himself stuck in Moscow and on the wrong side of history. The Communist Party agrees to let him live but he is never allowed to set foot outside the Metropole Hotel until the day he dies. Co-produced by VIS and eOne.
Sexy Beast (UK): The prequel series, based on the hit cult classic film of the same name, begins with Gal Dove and Don Logan just as they descend into the seductive madness of the London criminal world during the vibrant and volatile 1990s. At its core, this is a love story between two men — à la Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. In association with VIS, produced by Chapter One, with showrunner Michael Caleo (The Sopranos).
Simon Beckett’s The Chemistry of Death (Germany): A thrilling, psychological crime series based on Simon Beckett’s bestselling novels following forensic anthropologist Dr. David Hunter. Written by BAFTA-winning screenwriter Sukey Venables Fisher (Electricity, Unconditional) and directed by Richard R. Clark (War of the Worlds, Versailles, Outlander), the series will be shot in the UK. Producing partners are Nadcon Film and Cuba Pictures, in association with VIS.
Los Enviados (The Envoys) – Season 2 (Mexico): The second season of this series finds priests Pedro Salinas (Luis Gerardo Méndez) and Simon Antequera (Miguel Ángel Silvestre) traveling to Spain to investigate an inexplicable miracle. While there, the priests unearth shocking secrets of the town’s history. In association with VIS, produced by Academy Award winner Juan José Campanella and his production company, 100 Bares.
Cecilia – Season 2 (Mexico): The second season of Cecilia begins after a fire destroys the family bakery, Pan Dulce, and Cecilia (Mariana Treviño) and her relatives begin the process of rebuilding it. Without a business to keep the family financially afloat, they will have to find another way to make ends meet, and family relationships are more tense than ever. In association with VIS, produced by Oficina Burman, a Mediapro company.
Additionally, following ViacomCBS’ recent announcement of a strategic partnership with CJ ENM, Paramount+ announced the following premium scripted original series will debut in Latin America, Canada and Australia, as well as in France, the UK, and GSA (Germany, Switzerland, Austria) upon launch. The series will premiere on TVING in Korea later this year.
Yonder (South Korea): Set in 2032, ‘Yonder’ is an unknown space designed for the dead to be able to live on by uploading memories of their lifetime from their brain. The story unfolds as a man receives a message from his deceased wife, inviting him to the unknown space, Yonder. The drama/science-fiction series raises questions about life and death and what it means to have eternal happiness as humanity comes face to face with a world created by advancements in science technology. Presented by TVING (CJ ENM’s streaming platform) and ViacomCBS, produced by Doodoong Pictures and CJ ENM, directed by Lee Joon-ik.
This slate will complement the robust lineup of previously announced Paramount+ international scripted originals, including Bosé, Miss Fallaci Takes America, At Midnight, Not a Bride and more, as well as a growing roster of previously announced and highly-anticipated scripted series, including: Fatal Attraction, Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies, Rabbit Hole and The Offer, in addition to popular titles from ViacomCBS, such as Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years and MTV Unplugged, as well as South Park, with the series’ expansive library of episodes to move exclusively in SVOD to Paramount+ in international markets later this year.
Paramount+ continues to expand its global footprint and in 2022 it is set to launch in the UK, South Korea, GSA, Italy and France, where it announced a long-term strategic partnership with CANAL+ Group, which will will bring CANAL+ subscribers world-renowned ViacomCBS content.
The strategic partnership includes:
The distribution of Paramount+ as the service expands to France this year. Upon launch, Paramount+ will be available to all CANAL+ Ciné Séries French subscribers. The ViacomCBS streaming service will be the home of SHOWTIME in France. It will feature Paramount Pictures’ blockbuster movies, new Paramount+ originals, Nickelodeon’s beloved characters, incredible entertainment from MTV, and CBS Studios’ top-rated shows
The distribution of nine iconic ViacomCBS brands on CANAL+ Group channels: Nickelodeon, Nickelodeon Junior, Nickelodeon Teen, MTV, Paramount Channel, Game One, J-One, BET, and Comedy Central.
The premiere of ViacomCBS content exclusively for CANAL+ Group channels and services, including films from Paramount Pictures and select original series from SHOWTIME.
Paramount and Showtime Add Over 9 Million Subs
During the event, the company also announced that Paramount Plus and Showtime gained 9.4 million streaming subscribers, topping a combined 56 million subscribers by the end of last year. 80% of those new subs -7.3 million- were strictly Paramount Plus additions. By the close of Q4, Paramount Plus’s total subscribers reached 32.8 million.
The company also told investors that it was raising its global streaming subscriber goal from 65 million-75 million by 2024 to more than 100 million by the end of that year.
ViacomCBS’s free platform Pluto TV rose to more than 64 million monthly active users (MAUs) during the fourth quarter, up from 54 million at the end of Q3. Pluto TV grew its revenue by 45% versus the prior year’s comparable quarter.
Paramount Integrates Showtime in a New Bundle:
Riding on these good results and to promote them even further, the company announced a new strategy for its streaming services, as Paramount Plus will begin integrating Showtime content this summer, launching an in-app upgrade that includes access to the pay TV channel’s programming.
“Our existing bundle, of Paramount Plus and Showtime, has performed very well out of the gate. That’s because users can access two premium content offerings, with streamlined sign-up, but viewed in distinct apps. Starting this summer, we’re making Showtime even easier to access in one app experience”, said Tom Ryan, president and chief executive officer of streaming at ViacomCBS.
The executive explained that the Showtime OTT platform will still be available to customers separately. “You’ll be able to simply upgrade your Paramount Plus subscription to a bundle that includes the Showtime service and then view all that content in a single user experience,” he said.
The pricing for the bundle of the Paramount Plus Essential tier and the Showtime service is US$11.99, which increases to US$14.99 for the bundle of the ad-free Paramount Plus Premium tier and the Showtime service.