Paramount Global’s streaming service Paramount+ will be launching in the U.K. and South Korea in June, with plans to also make it available in India in 2023 as part of its continued expansion around the world.
The company has set June 22 as the streamer’s launch date in the U.K., while also planning to make it available in South Korea in June, with no exact date immediately available, The Hollywood Reporter understands. Paramount Global is touting the continued rollout of its streaming services around the globe on a conference call following its first-quarter earnings report earlier on Tuesday.
Paramount Global, when it was still called ViacomCBS, struck a deal last August with Comcast’s European pay TV and streaming powerhouse Sky to launch Paramount+ on Sky platforms in the U.K., Ireland, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Austria this year.
Meanwhile, the entry of Paramount+ in South Korea will come under a strategic partnership with Korean entertainment powerhouse CJ ENM that was unveiled in December. Under the pact, the streamer is set to debut as an exclusive bundle with TVING, CJ ENM’s streaming service, marking the first market launch for Paramount+ in Asia.
And in India, Paramount+ is set to become available next year. “We are announcing today that Paramount+ will be distributed in India via our joint venture Viacom 18’s platforms in 2023, an entity that just entered into an agreement related to a significant third-party capital infusion and is poised to become an even more significant streaming player in the market,” Paramount said in its Tuesday earnings report.
Last week, an investment firm of James Murdoch and former Star India CEO and Walt Disney Asia Pacific president Uday Shankar unveiled this investment. Bodhi Tree Systems, an investment platform backed by Murdoch’s Lupa Systems and Shankar, said it would invest $1.78 billion in Viacom 18, an Indian media joint venture of Paramount and TV18 that includes TV networks and a streaming platform.
After ending 2021 with a presence in 26 markets, Paramount+ is this year set to become available in more countries, including in France with Vivendi’s Canal+. Paramount is also planning to roll out its SkyShowtime streaming joint venture with Comcast/Sky in more than 20 European territories encompassing 90 million homes, beginning this year. Overall, announced and planned launches are currently set to lead to Paramount having a paid streaming service in more than 60 markets globally.
Just like its peers, the conglomerate has been focusing on growing its streaming business, including subscription service Paramount+ and advertising-based video on-demand service Pluto TV. Paramount+ ended 2021 with 32.8 million subscribers, and the company is targeting to hit 100 million by 2024.
However, Paramount management, led by president and CEO Bob Bakish, has emphasized that it is not focused as much on how many markets it reaches, but on strategically mapping out which countries to expand into, when and how, including through possible partnerships. Executives have said that this tailored market-by-market approach allows the company to expand its streaming business quickly but at a lower risk, while taking advantage of established or new partnerships and ensuring diversified revenue streams.
“In 2022, we’re continuing to expand Paramount+ to the biggest markets in the world, starting with the U.K. and South Korea in June,” said Bakish. “And, we will be in more major European markets, including Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria in the second half of the year. Additionally, in 2023, Paramount+ will launch in India in partnership with Viacom 18 as part of a recently announced agreement and is poised to participate in this fast-growing streaming market.”