Local titles high on Paramount+ list

As Paramount+ marks its first anniversary in Australia, it already has a growing list of local commissions.

Today marks a year since Paramount+ launched in Australia, with titles such as Five Bedrooms, Infinite, Two Weeks to Live, iCarly, Leonardo, Anne Boleyn and Evil.

With Australia’s crowded Streaming market it was a tall order for local operators at the previously known 10ViacomCBS.

Yet in just 12 months existence, the service has a growing array of local titles: Five Bedrooms, More Than This, Spreadsheet, The Secrets She Keeps, Couples Therapy Australia, plus upcoming titles The Bridge Australia, 6 Festivals, The Last King Of The Cross, Undressed and the newly-announced Sky Blue: Inside Sydney FC, a four-part  behind-the-scenes look inside football club, Sydney FC.

Exec. VP and Chief Content Officer, Paramount ANZ, Beverley McGarvey, said, “Paramount+ is a pretty full service in terms of offering. It’s got local, great international originals, kids, movies, sport. I think people are really using the full service. And although the biggest things, 1883 and Halo really do a phenomenal job for that service, there’s a lot of content on there, that really makes a difference.”

International titles from the vast Paramount library have included 1883, Halo, Yellowjackets, The Gilded Age, Dexter: New Blood, South Park, All Star Shore, Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Jerry & Marge Go Large, Honor Society, Tokyo Vice, Mayor of Kingstown, Queen of the Universe, The Offer, The First Lady.

Also coming up are Owen Wilson superhero film Secret Headquarters (13 August); Susan Sarandon in Monarch (13 September); novel-turned-thriller Let The Right One In (8 October); Sylvester Stallone in Tulsa King (14 November); Helen Mirren and Harrison Ford in the Yellowstone prequel 1923; Andrew Scott as Tom Ripley in Ripley; Shailene Woodley, Betty Gilpin and DeWanda Wise in Three Women, all new dramas Teen Wolf, Walker: Independence, Wolf Pack and the second seasons of  Yellowjackets, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Tokyo Vice, The Gilded Age, Mayor of Kingstown, and Halo.

Recent global numbers announced by Paramount bosses indicate 43 million subscribers internationally, although there are no released numbers for Australia.

“The growth was quicker than we expected,” McGarvey advises. “It has been the fastest growing streaming service in Australia.

“I think probably the biggest learnings are where those audiences come from, how you engage with those audiences, how you market, what’s important to them, what they watch, how much volume of content they watch, and how much you need to get them to watch so that they become a really regular customer. I think we’re still learning all of those things.

“Unlike some of the more linear and front of the paywall, things can be a slow burn on Streaming.

“Something like Yellowjackets is a great example. It doesn’t have to be a hit overnight. People can come watch the show, find something else. It’s great because it gives certain types of content time to flourish. I think in a way, sometimes Free to Air linear particularly is a harsh world. You’ve kind of got to be a hit straight away. It’s hard to let things grow -obviously we do, but it’s it’s harder.”

Sport has also been part of the P+ early offer with A-League Women and UTE A-League Men seasons,  Winter Festival of Football and also the FA Community Shield between English Premier League champions Manchester City and FA Cup winners Liverpool, streamed live.

Next week Paramount+ launches The Bridge, in which 12 strangers will be tested to construct a log bridge across a 330m stretch of water in Tasmania. It’s a bold commission for a competition reality series is normally the domain of Free to Air Television.

“It’s really beautiful. It’s really intriguing. It does appeal to those audiences who enjoy constructed reality shows such as Survivor, even potentially, shows like Ninja. But the interesting thing is because it’s for Streaming, the pace is different. The level of this format, the methodology, is different. For example, on Survivor, we all know at the end of the episode there’s got to be a Tribal, et cetera. It is slightly more organic.”

Unexpectedly, the show also has Hugo Weaving as narrator.

“Amazing. He’s got such a beautiful voice. It’s a great coup,” McGarvey agrees.

Also coming is NCIS: Sydney, expected for both 10 and Paramount+.

“We’ve assigned a production company and they have some really great production talent. That will be for all platforms.

“It’ll be a while before we start filming, at this point we’re just getting to the writing stage.”

Access is also central to Streaming success. While the Paramount+ Streaming app is yet to arrive on Foxtel set top boxes, it is hoped to become further available on third party devices.

“At the beginning, we weren’t on Amazon and Samsung, (which we) have added…. and we obviously are on the Optus SubHub and we’re just in those stages of adding other ones now,” she explains.

There’s also no fixed rule around whether seasons launch in their entirety or weekly.

“It depends on the series and the time of year. There is no one-size-fits-all. It will probably drop weekly but we’re still working through that,” said McGarvey.

“Obviously we have the A-League coming back in October and we have a really strong movie line-up between now and the end of the year. We have Clifford the Big Red Dog, which is a great family movie. Scream, Jackass, Sandra Bullock in The Lost City.

“So there’s a really great lineup still to come.”

25 Responses

  1. Do you know if there are plans between Fremantle Media and Paramount+ to bring previous seasons of Neighbours to the service? It feels like such a wasted opportunity not to house at least part of the series there. After all, they already have the entire 2022 season available.

    Even if they started with just the last 3-4 years… although a gradual roll-out of the classic years would certainly draw in a crowd too, particularly coming off the back of the finale last month. The first 300 episodes were released on DVD a decade ago, so the content is there – and those rare DVDs were going for $800+ each recently, so the demand to view the original seasons is absolutely there.

    Not to mention the obvious increase of Australian content for the service by doing so. It feels like a no-brainer… no?

    1. Nope. In fact if you wait just a few days after broadcast on 10, you can watch them ad free on P+. I did that with MasterChef and Hunted recently and was able to watch more episodes in a lot less time.

  2. I’ve also been lucky to get the $5 for 12 months when I signed up. I’ve been quite impressed with their library and really loving Secret She Keeps (rewatching the first season before I see the second one because I didn’t remember much of season one) which is based on the book by Michael Robotham.

  3. I too was lucky enough to get the cheap glitch deal too. I didn’t have much expectation on the programs to be honest, but I have been surprised how much I have watched and enjoyed programs on the service.
    Think I am up for the yearly renewal soon, and I will be continuing with it.

  4. When are the going to implement things like 4k, Dolby vision, Dolby Atmos, etc for Australia?

    It is so strange that something that seems like an international service can’t do it for Australia. Netflix, Apple tv+, Disney+, and Prime Video all allow that content for all customers around the world where the service is provided, and whilst if you live in the US you can access 4k/dolby content on Paramount+ in Australia you still still cannot for some reason.

  5. Content is reasonable and the app runs well on Google TV, the biggest problem is the lack of profiles for Paramount. They have them in the US but not in Australia. People in a family want to watch things at different times and the lack of profiles makes it a confusing mess.

  6. It’s always interesting to hear so many complaints about the technology not being up to scratch for streaming: I’m keen to try Paramount+ but the quality of the stream is going to be poor through Apple TV, I’m not quite ready to pay for it.

        1. Oh no let me clarify, my complaints are for the functionality and ease of availability rather than streaming quality. It is clunky to stream Paramount+ through AppleTV… for example there’s no option for individual accounts, so my mum who lives 500 k’s away from me will play a show she’s been watching and it will be the episode I’m up to and vice versa, so it’s fiddly to search up the show and remember what episode she’s up to. The shows look great though, no HD issues at all.

  7. It would be great if they could release an app for LG tv’s so we dont have to cast from our devices. There seems to be a US version but not an Australian one. Surely it can’t be that difficult to release?

  8. I was lucky enough to take advantage of the launch day glitch that gave me 12 months for $5.99 and it’s been terrific. We’ve watched plenty of shows exclusive to the platform and enjoyed MasterChef and Hunted without commercials (trimming the ‘watch’ time significantly). If the lineup continues to be as strong, I’ll gladly continue when the subscription reverts to its regular tariff with auto renewal.

  9. I was lucky enough to get a 12 month sub to Paramount for just $5 but I’m definitely not going to renew for another year. There’s just not enough quality content compared to rivals. 1883 was my favourite title so 1923 looks interesting but not much else on that list.

    1. It’s a mixed bag but the future looks amazing imo. For me More Than This was awful, 1883 was dreary and boring, Yellowjackets was overrated (yet still OK) and last year’s Guilty Party was middling. However Halo was better than average, Ghosts is great, I Love That For You is really excellent, Players is a delight, Dexter: New Blood was brilliant and the underrated Why Women Kill S2 was great viewing too.
      As I said though, they have some nice ones coming up.

  10. “Yet in just 12 months existence, the service has a growing array of local titles: …. The Secrets She Keeps …”
    This terrific series was free to watch on Ten. Why would we want to pay for something we use to get for free?

    1. I do think it was a genuinely missed opportunity for Paramount+ to pick up Neighbours, but considering the fact 5 made the call to pull funding, and they are owned by Paramount Global, I guess it was assessed that it wasn’t viable for PP to take it over.

      1. All that moving it to Paramount+ would have meant is a slow death with it becoming even less relevant. As brutal as it was a quick ending available to everyone free to air was probably for the best.

  11. I do think Paramount+ are doing a good job with their content offering, but tech wise the app is clunky and in dire need for an update. Not only is it the only streaming service missing from my LG TV, when I do use it on my Apple TV, it’s slow and doesn’t always auto-play the next episode.

    1. Yeah I couldn’t agree more. It’s the only streaming service I subscribe to that is missing from my LG. I have the exact same problems when streaming it through Apple. It’s frustrating.

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