The ViacomCBS streaming service is following in the footsteps of sister service Pluto TV. It has added a new “live channels“ feature, giving an insight as to what UK users can expect when Paramount Plus launches here in 2022.
Paramount Plus subscribers in the USA now have access to 18 “live” or linear channels; their schedules described as “curated playlists”.
Among the channels is a dedicated Star Trek channel and services dedicated to shows from Nickelodeon and MTV. The “TV Classics” channel promises “a curated selection of timeless series such as I Love Lucy and The Love Boat“. Meanwhile, the “Nostalgic Hits” channel plays episodes from Beverly Hills 90210, Cheers and Frasier.
It’s a model piloted by ViacomCBS stablemate Pluto TV, which offers various themed channels on a free-to-view basis.
Tom Ryan, President and CEO of ViacomCBS Streaming, said:
“Even in the era of on-demand, there is clearly a strong consumer appetite for reimagined linear channels that provide effortless, lean-back entertainment. Inspired and informed by the winning model Pluto TV pioneered and popularised, these highly curated channels underscore the power of our unified streaming organisation and serve as a product differentiator in the SVoD space, by offering subscribers yet another way to experience and discover programming on Paramount+.”
The move to online streaming has been led by younger viewers. However, as more competitors enter the market, features such as live/linear channels may well be the key to getting a wider range of older viewers, used to more traditional ways of watching television, signing up for the service.
Paramount Plus is launching in the UK next year. It’s already confirmed as coming to Sky Q, although other devices will be supported as it continues its rollout. The extent of the UK version, and whether it will significantly differ from the US version is still unclear.