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Paramount+ price, plans, and what to watch

Paramount Plus has come a long way in a short time. It is, to put it bluntly, a big deal. So much so that parent company ViacomCBS in February 2022 announced that it’s changing its name to, simply, Paramount. The streaming service once known as CBS All Access has grown up, gone worldwide, and is very much is looking to be a hub of the future — not just a place for shows of the past. The Paramount+ price and plans are broad enough to make it home to all sorts of series and movies that you’ll recognize, as well as new fare that almost certainly will make you watch to get that subscription rolling.

And it’s getting even bigger, with more options.

Here’s everything you need to know about Paramount+.

Phil Nickinson/Digital Trends

Paramount+ Price: What does it cost?

Paramount+ has two plans main: Essential and Premium.

The Paramount+ Essential plan costs $5 a month or $50 a year and includes advertising in most of the on-demand movies and shows. The Premium plan costs $10 a month or $100 a year and gets rid of most advertising.

That’s not the only difference between the two plans, though. The Premium plan also includes a stream of your local CBS affiliate, a lot more sports (more on that below), and the ability to watch some movies in 4K resolution, with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos on supported hardware.

Paramount+ also has a couple of plans that include Showtime which, like Paramount+ itself, is owned by Paramount (aka the former ViacomCBS). You can get Showtime and the Essential plan for $12 a month, or $120 a year. Or you can get Showtime and the Premium plan without most advertising for $15 a month, or $150 a year. And later in 2022, you’ll be able to watch Showtime directly inside the Paramount+. (It’ll still be available on its own, too.)

How many subscribers does Paramount+ have?

With the change from ViacomCBS to Paramount, the company announced it’ll start to announce actual subscriber numbers for Paramount+ and for Pluto TV, the company’s advertising-based video-on-demand service.

As of December 31, 2021, Paramount+ had 32.8 million total subscribers, up from 25.5 million at the end of the third quarter.

Executives say they expect Paramount+ to have 100 million subscribers by 2024. We’ll see the United Kingdom and South Korea come online in 2022, followed by the Caribbean in the summer. Later in the year, we’ll see more of Europe, including Italy Germany, and France, with Australia also getting Paramount Plus in the second half of the year.

Pluto TV, which is a free service, had 64 million monthly active users at the end of 2021.

Does Paramount+ have a free trial?

Yes. When you sign up for Paramount+, you’ll get seven days for free before the subscription kicks in. That’s pretty much in line with most other streaming services.

If you want to cancel Paramount+ before the free subscription is up, no worries. And if you decide you want to keep Paramount+, you’ll start being charged after that first week.

What movies are on Paramount+?

Paramount+ has, as the name would imply, a wealth of movies from Paramount Pictures. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Paramount+ can and does have all kinds of movies from all sorts of decades, and not just from the Paramount catalog.

And like any other streaming service that has movies, Paramount+ swaps things out on a pretty regular basis.

We could list dozens and dozens of movies here. But we won’t. Instead, we suggest just hopping over to Paramount+ and checking things out for yourself.

But a few we will mention include: A Quiet Place and A Quiet Place Part II, Annihilation, Almost Famous, Arrival, 48 Hours, SpongeBob Squarepants: Sponge on the Run, and many more.

What shows are on Paramount+?

When it comes to shows (or series) on Paramount+, there are a couple of ways to look at things. The first is that you’re going to get the bulk of the CBS catalog. That means new favorites like Magnum P.I., NCIS, Seal Team, Blue Bloods, and Young Sheldon.

But there’s also a growing crop of new originals that are exclusive to Paramount+. That includes the new entries into the Star Trek universe, including Star Trek: Prodigy, Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Lower Decks, Star Trek: Picard, and the upcoming Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.

Paramount+ also is home to the expanding Yellowstone universe. In addition to the flagship series, it’s also where you’ll find Mayor of Kingstown, from director Antoine Fuqua and starring Jeremy Renner, and the Yellowstone prequel 1883. And that’s just for starters.

The biggest property on Paramount+, though, belongs to kids, with SpongeBob Squarepants ruling things.

Can you watch live sports on Paramount+?

Yes, Paramount+ has live sports. Quite a few of them, actually.

The biggest is the NFL. That’s not to say that Paramount+ lets you watch every single NFL game, because it doesn’t. Nor does it let you watch out-of-market NFL games. (We’re not talking Sunday Ticket, either.)But if you have either of the Paramount+ plans, you’ll be able to stream the regional game that’s available on your local CBS affiliate. If you’re on the $5-a-month Essential plan (which is the one that also includes advertising in the on-demand content), you’ll be cut off as soon as the game is over. So if you want in on any of the post-game action, you’ll need to pony up for the Premium subscription.

The other sort of football — or fútbol, if you will — also is prevalent on Paramount+. More specifically, it’s (mostly) available on the Paramount+ Premium plan.

The biggest example is the UEFA Champions League, which pits the best club teams from Europe against each other each year. You’ll be able to watch the Champions League on either of the two Paramount+ plans.

That’s followed by the Europa League, comprising teams that didn’t make it into the Champions League competition. There’s also the NWSL (the women’s professional league in the United States), Italy’s Serie A, Brasil’s Brasileirão, the CONCACAF Nation’s League, the Scottish Professional Football League, and various World Cup qualifiers. You’ll need the more-expensive Premium plan for all of that.

What you don’t get with any of this is any sort of live sports in 4K resolution. That’s not actually a surprise — such features are few and far between at this point on any streaming service. But it’d still be nice to see at some point.

Can you watch Paramount+ with a cable subscription?

Today, if you want to watch Paramount+, you have to have a subscription to Paramount+. Full stop. No more freeloading.

What you can do, however, is use an existing TV provider subscription — whether it’s cable, satellite, or streaming — to log in to and get a live feed of your local CBS affiliate, CBSN, CBS Sports HQ, or ET Live.

But it doesn’t get you into Paramount+.

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