In a highly competitive market for subscription video-on-demand streaming services, Paramount Plus has key advantage in that it also taps into the larger ViacomCBS linear kingdom -- not only are the crown jewels of the CBS broadcast network available to stream on Paramount Plus, but also current series episodes from ViacomCBS cable networks including Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, BET, MTV and The Smithsonian Channel.
And now, Paramount Plus is trying to further organize all that content to further good use, creating 18 curated live-linear channels, themed around such popular franchises as Star Trek, PAW Patrol and Survivor, as well as genre topics including "Kids & Family Fun," "Crime & Justice" and "Reality TV: Competitions." (A full list of the 18 new live channels is below.)
Creating a pay TV-like grid of live-linear networks isn't a new thing -- Roku launched its Live Channel Guide over a year ago, sensing that some streaming consumers pined for the old days of mindlessly channel surfing. On the SVOD level, however, Paramount Plus seems to out in front on this.
“Even in the era of on-demand, there is clearly a strong consumer appetite for reimagined linear channels that provide effortless, lean-back entertainment,” said Tom Ryan, president and CEO of ViacomCBS Streaming, and the co-founder of Pluto TV who knows a thing or two about live-linear channels.
“Inspired and informed by the winning model Pluto TV pioneered and popularized, these highly curated channels underscore the power of our unified streaming organization and serve as a product differentiator in the SVOD space, by offering subscribers yet another way to experience and discover programming on Paramount Plus," Ryan added.
ViacomCBS said it ended the third quarter with 47 million streaming subscribers, up around 29 million year-over-year. The conglomerate is still offering prospective Paramount Plus signups a month of free service, before dinging their credit cards with a $4.99 monthly charge for the partially ad-supported Paramount Plus, or a $9.99 charge for the ad-free version.
Here are the 18 new live-linear channels (descriptions courtesy of ViacomCBS):
> 24/7 Laughs — A destination for feel-good, laugh-out-loud content from popular series such as Hot in Cleveland, Reno 911 and Tosh.O.
> Adult Animation — Genre-defining series such as Beavis and Butt-Head, Celebrity Deathmatch and Daria.
> All Day Drama — The best in drama, including everything from Evil and The Twilight Zone to Touched By an Angel and The Guardian.
> Animation Favorites — Beloved kids’ animated series, such as Avatar: The Last Airbender, Rugrats, Spongebob SquarePants and The Fairly OddParents.
> Black Voices — A celebration of Black voices and stories with a collection of popular series such as Chappelle's Show, Key & Peele, The Game and The Neighborhood.
> Crime & Justice — Primetime procedurals such as Bull, Blue Bloods, CSI: Miami, MacGeyver, Seal Team and The Good Wife.
> History & Undiscovered — A curated selection for historians from the Smithsonian Channel, including Sacred Sites, Secrets, America's Hidden Stories and Secrets Unlocked.
> Kids & Family Fun — A destination for the whole family to enjoy favorites such as Henry Danger, iCarly, The Thundermans and Zoey 101.
> Nostalgic Hits — A playlist featuring episodes from iconic series, including Beverly Hills 90210, Cheers, Frasier, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Wings.
> PAW Patrol — Home to all things PAW Patrol, including PAW Patrol: Live at Home!, PAW Patrol: The Movie, and, of course, the original series that started it all
> Preschool Corner — Parent-approved programming for pint-sized viewers such as Blue's Clues, Bubble Guppies, Dora the Explorer, PAW Patrol and Peppa Pig.
> Reality TV: Competition — A collection of reality TV’s most popular series, including Ink Master, Rupaul's Drag Race and Survivor.
> Reality TV: Shores — Hours of content from the fist-pumping franchise, including episodes from Jersey Shore, Jersey Shore Family Vacation and Floribama Shore.
> SpongeBob Universe — Home to all things Bikini Bottom, the channel will feature episodes from SpongeBob SquarePants and Kamp Koral: SpongeBobs Under Years, as well as popular SpongeBob movies
> Star Trek — A destination for Star Trek fans, featuring popular originals such as Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Picard, plus iconic series such as Star Trek: Enterprise and Star Trek: The Next Generation.
> Survivor — Featuring 40 seasons of the long-running reality series
> The Challenge — The best moments from the hit-reality series, including The Challenge and The Challenge: All Stars.
> TV Classics — A curated selection of timeless series such as I Love Lucy, The Love Boat and The Twilight Zone.
NEXT TV NEWSLETTER
The smarter way to stay on top of the streaming and OTT industry. Sign up below.
Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!