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Paramount Plus dated for summer launch in the UK

The Paramount Plus video streaming service was expected to arrive on our shores in early 2022 via Sky, and now there’s a clearer date for its UK release.

Out of the company’s Global Investor call arrived the news that Paramount Plus will launch summer 2022 in the UK. While no specific date was mentioned, the mooted launch is part of Paramount Plus’ expansion to countries outside the US.

Its current price is is $9.99/month for ad-free content or $4.99/month with ad support. It joins an increasing number of video streaming services all jostling for position in what is becoming a very crowded market.

Also announced in the call was more programming for Paramount’s streaming service. They include a live-action series that follows Idris Elba’s Knuckles (from the Sonic the Hedgehog films), a live action Dora the Explorer: two South Park films a year for the next seven years (!), the Halo TV series, a reboot of the 2010s werewolf drama Teen Wolf (starring most of the original cast), as well as UK specific content which includes a prequel to Sexy Beast and an adaptation of Amor Towles’ best-selling novel A Gentleman in Moscow. Films will be arriving on the platform as soon as they complete their run in cinemas such as the upcoming A Quiet Place, Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles films.

For Star Trek fans, Paramount Plus will also likely be the new home for Star Trek: Discovery, which was pulled from Netflix late in 2021. What this will mean for Star Trek: Picard TV series, the second series arrives in March, remains unknown; as is the case with content licensed to other broadcasters in the UK, such as Dexter: New Blood.

It’ll be yet another streaming service to pay for, and we suspect they are going to be some big losers in this ongoing and seemingly never-ending battle for consumer eyeballs.

Please stop the video streaming merry go-round, I want to get off

Having customers flock to Netflix and Prime Video for years, it’s no surprise film studios are looking to get in on the action. The pandemic has only accelerated a move that’s been in the cards for years.

But there is such a thing as too much, and the launch of Paramount Plus is another service to add to the many already available. The market has gone from having two/three main options to more than I can count, and with people’s wallets already stretched and streaming services rising in price, there are going to be some big losers.

Asking the question of whether we really need another streaming service is a valid one as new entrants are only making the market more saturated and segmented, content siphoned off to services as exclusives and making it much harder to keep abreast of everything available to watch.

What’s most disappointing with the Plus news is the lack of true ‘original’ content. Announced were Sonic spin-offs, more South Park movies, another Teen Wolf series – a revival of a TV reboot based on an 80s film, a prequel to Sexy Beast (a 20 year-old film). The market is quickly becoming more of the same-old stuff: reboots, sequels, requels, prequels, revivals and spin-offs. It’s programming at its most risk-averse, and if Plus gets off to a slow start, it may not recover.

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