The company’s top three in-demand shows are streaming on Paramount+’s competitors, though that may not be such a bad thing
Paramount’s streaming strategy is still emerging from the complex legacy of the deal that created it. The recombination of Viacom and CBS gave the new company a direct-to-consumer service in CBS All Access — now Paramount+ — and the Paramount Pictures, MTV, Nickeloden and Showtime libraries. Using all that content, though, was complicated by Viacom’s prior “arms dealer” strategy, where it licensed shows to other media companies’ streaming services.
As a result, Paramount has a number of shows with strong demand, according to Parrot Analytics‘ data, which takes into account consumer research, streaming, downloads and social media, among other engagement. But its top three shows, “South Park,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “Yellowstone,” live on other streaming networks.
CEO Bob Bakish defended Paramount’s licensing practices in a recent call with analysts to discuss its fourth-quarter earnings. “We never took all our content and put it in a walled garden,” he said. “We continue to strategically monetize content outside our owned and operated ecosystem. And that drives incremental return and frankly drives incremental awareness.”
There may be something to Bakish’s awareness argument. Through “Yellowstone” streams on Peacock, its buzz has helped spin-off shows that run on Paramount+. And overall demand for the Paramount library is strong. According to Parrot Analytics’ Corporate Demand measurement, which assesses the potential value and strength of original content in the licensing market, Paramount came in third last year, behind only the Walt Disney Company and Warner Bros. Discovery.
Paramount’s move to consolidate its subscription services, Paramount+ and Showtime, into one offering can be seen as a cost-cutting move, and that’s largely how Paramount sold the move to Wall Street. But there’s more to the new Paramount+ With Showtime premium service.
Right now, CBS shows are the primary feeder to Paramount+, followed by Nickelodeon. Paramount+ originals accounted for only 11.6% of demand for the streaming service. Showtime, once fully combined would account for 12.5% of demand, and the two together would outweigh CBS as the largest contributor to Paramount+ demand. Showtime has long courted female audiences, so bringing “Billions,” “Dexter” and “Yellowjackets” to Paramount+ could also round out an older, male-skewing viewership.
Parrot Analytics is the industry leader in global audience demand measurement. The company measures global supply and demand for entertainment, capturing over 2 billion audiences expressing demand for content and talent in over 100 languages, across all platforms, in 200+ countries. Parrot Analytics' partners use this knowledge to help better understand global supply and demand across all platforms to value content and talent, drive better production, distribution, acquisition and marketing decisions, as well as increase D2C growth and retention. For more information, see www.parrotanalytics.com.