For a limited time, CBS has made the pilot episode for Star Trek: Picard available for free on YouTube.
The series’ primary home is CBS All Access, the streaming video service launched by ViacomCBS. The second episode arrived on the app Wednesday, and CBS is making the first episode freely available on YouTube serves as an opportunity for viewers to check the series out before deciding if they want to subscribe to yet another streamer.
Pluto TV, a free, ad-sported streaming video service, will also repeatedly stream the first episode of Picard on a 24-hour marathon on Thursday, Jan. 30, then every evening at 8 p.m. ET on Pluto TV’s Sci-Fi channel through February 5. Pluto TV is owned by ViacomCBS, so the partnership makes sense.
CBS has not said whether it plans to make additional episodes of the series available for free in the future, nor has it specified how long “available for a limited time” actually will be for the pilot.
That subscription for CBS All Access, by the way, will run $6 per month for an ad-supported version and $10 for ad-free content on the service, which first launched back in October 2014.
The series, which has Patrick Stewart reprising his iconic role as USS Enterprise Captain Jean-Luc Picard, has so far gotten solid reviews from critics. It centers around Picard, who at the outset of the pilot has retreated to a quiet life on his vineyard some 14 years after his retirement from Starfleet. Picard is soon sought out by a young woman, Dahj (Isa Briones), and a new mission comes to the forefront.
It’s seen as an important series for the CBS streaming service, especially considering the ever-increasing competition in the streaming landscape.
CBS hasn’t officially released its total number of subscribers, reports suggest the number could be somewhere between four and five million. Those prospective numbers are rivaled by statistics from companies like Netflix (158 million subscriptions), Hulu (28.5) and even Disney+, which reportedly earn 10 million subscribers within 24 hours of launching.
Star Trek: Picard has already been renewed for a second season, set to premiere in 2021. Another Star Trek series, Star Trek: Discovery, is reportedly returning for a third season.
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