The streaming industry has forever changed movies and TV. Since Netflix first made streaming a popular trend and now nearly every studio in the industry has followed suit. Today, there are nearly 50 different streaming services available in North America. But like the rise and fall of everything, many investors are left wondering when the bubble on the industry might burst. With major companies keeping this in mind, Paramount just made an industry-changing announcement at their Investors Day Event, declaring that Paramount movies will soon no longer be widely available on streaming services other than Paramount Plus.
With a slew of major announcements at yesterday’s investor event, Paramount announced that starting in 2024, all Paramount movies will stream directly on Paramount Plus following their theatrical run. Paramount is the first in the industry to announce such stark changes, but they may have started a trend we might see other competitors soon follow. Paramount, who merged with ViacomCBS in 2019, is already sitting largely in the streaming industry having access to both studios’ vast library of material. While Paramount has kept the naming separate since their merger, they solidified the merger yesterday when they as well announced ViacomCBS would officially be renamed Paramount.
To boast about their promised success in the streaming industry, Paramount recruited a few famous faces to make an appearance at the event. Directors J.J. Abrams and Taylor Sheridan made a cameo along with Tom Cruise. Cruise spent his time hyping up the studio’s sequel to its hit 1986 film, Top Gun, while he also teased the audience with a clip from the upcoming installment of his other breakout role in the Mission Impossible franchise. Top Gun: Maverick is set for a theatrical debut this May, but it’s unsure exactly when the film will stream on Paramount Plus.
Appeasing to investors, the Paramount execs forecasted promising figures for the next few years as the company diverts as much cash as it can to streaming, where investments will pass $6 billion by 2024. Last year, as the initial launch of Paramount Plus, the streamer spent $2.2 billion, while competitors like Netflix carved out more than $17 billion in 2021. CFO Naveen Chopra did however report operating losses were anticipated to his $500 million this year, but he ensures investors that the losses will peak and eventually dissipate by 2024.
The losses announced by Paramount showcase the unease felt by Wall Street over the streaming industry. As an obvious cash grab, streaming looks successful, but as the growing contention in the industry to outbid the competition for content perpetually drives prices, the high costs are worrisome to investors and their studios. As a solution, more and more streaming services like Paramount Plus are looking at mergers as a means to cut costs and keep investors happy.
The impending change will surely ruffle the feathers of streaming execs eager to get ahead in the industry, but Paramount seems certain in their decisions. The company expects Paramount Plus to have 100 million subscribers by 2024, up from their previous forecasts of 60 to 75 million. Considering this move looks to wipe the rights to any of their content from other streaming services, it will be interesting to see how the proposed changes pan out over time.