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Paramount+ Rolls Out Premium Internationally as Streaming Giants Add Tiers

Paramount+, streaming, advertising

As streaming subscriptions add new tiers to reach consumers across income groups, Paramount+ is rolling out its Premium tier around the world.

As Paramount ANZ, the media company’s Australia and New Zealand branch, announced Tuesday (Oct. 24), the subscription service will roll out the option to Australia, Canada, Brazil and Mexico in mid-November, with more countries to come down the line. The tier includes high-quality viewing formats and the option to use more concurrent streams than lower-tiered plans. 

Additionally, Paramount+ will reportedly make its advertisement-supported tier available in Australia and Canada next year, while sticking with its mobile-only tier, which launched in April, as the lower-priced option in Mexico and Brazil for the time being.

“Following the launch of the Mobile plan in Mexico and Brazil, the introduction of the Premium and Ad-supported plans will give us the ability to better serve different consumer segments by providing multiple pricing options while also tapping into tremendous opportunities among our advertising and brand partners,” Marco Nobili, executive vice president and international general manager for Paramount+, said in a statement.

In the U.S., Paramount+’s options include the lower-priced “Paramount+ Essential tier,” which includes advertisements, as well as the more expensive “Paramount+ with SHOWTIME,” which used to be known as Premium with SHOWTIME, an ad-free tier that includes the premium television network’s programming as well.

Increasingly, streaming giants are raising their prices while introducing ad-supported tiers to keep lower-income and more financially constrained consumers engaged. Netflix launched such a tier last year. Disney+ has been expanding its ad-supported options around the world. Amazon is gearing up to introduce advertisements and charge a premium for ad-free subscriptions early next year.

Netflix, for its part, is seeing significant growth in its ad-supported business.

“This quarter, we grew our ad plan membership 70% sequentially, quarter-to-quarter. That’s on top of the last quarter where we grew at 100% quarter-to-quarter,” the streaming giant’s Co-CEO Greg Peters told analysts on a call Wednesday (Oct. 18) discussing the company’s third quarter fiscal 2023 financial results. “We now have 30% of our new sign-ups choosing our ads plan in our ads countries.” 

These moves come as consumers look for ways to manage their streaming budgets, even as industry giants  increase their prices. The PYMNTS Intelligence study “The One-Stop Bill Pay Playbook: Drivers of Consumers’ Bill Payment Priorities,” created in collaboration with Mastercard, which drew from survey of more than 2,100 U.S. consumers, found that 55% would cancel their streaming subscriptions if they were unable to pay all their bills. This figure is greater than the share of consumers that said the same of any other recurring bill.

Moreover, many consumers feel that they are spending too much on their streaming subscriptions. According to the September installment of the PYMNTS Intelligence series “New Reality Check: The Paycheck-to-Paycheck Report,” created in collaboration with LendingClub, which surveyed more than 3,400 U.S. adults, 25% of consumers report that they spend indulgently on streaming services.

As streaming giants increasingly adopt tiered models and supplement their subscriber revenue with ad sales, they are finding ways to maintain their customers even as consumers feel the financial pressure of maintaining their content subscriptions.