Paramount+ will add 1,000 new movies to the fledgling streaming service next month, including the Antoine Fuqua-directed sci-fi thriller “Infinite,” starring Mark Wahlberg, which was originally destined for theaters. Additionally, the service will get an average of one original movie per month beginning in 2022, all part of increased investments ViacomCBS is making in streaming, the company’s executives revealed during their Q1 earnings call Thursday morning.
“They’re real movies, they’re not deep library,” CEO Bob Bakish said of the 1,000-movie drop. Those additions, along with some more titles to be added in July, will bring the total number of films available on the platform to 2,500. Other titles coming this summer include “A Quiet Place Part II,” which will appear on the service after a 45-day theatrical release, plus “The Avengers,” “Skyfall,” and “Sonic the Hedgehog.”
Paramount+ launched in the US March 4, representing an upgraded investment in streaming for ViacomCBS, which had long operated streamers CBS All Access, Showtime, and Pluto TV. The launch of Paramount+ saw the company grow its total streaming subscribers by 6 million in the quarter, up from 29.9 million at the end of last year.
It’s unclear exactly how many of those subscribers are Paramount+ users, as the company gives only total numbers for Paramount+, Pluto TV, and Showtime. CFO Naveen Chopra said only that a “significant majority of new subscribers” were for Paramount+, and of those a “significant majority” were in the US.
The service also launched in Latin America, Scandinavia, and Canada. Up next is the Australian launch on August 11. The company plans to be in 45 markets by the end of 2022.
Executives are painting this early performance of Paramount+ as “growth trajectory,” and key to that has been audiences’ embrace of Nickelodeon content.
Bakish said that Nickelodeon movies and shows made up a double-digit percentage of Paramount+ streams — one that was “nowhere near half,” though. In addition to a library of Nickelodeon shows, “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run” and “SpongeBob” spinoff series “Kamp Koral” were all available at launch. He said Nickelodeon serves as a model that will be replicated across the company’s other networks and studios available on the service.
“What’s driving that relative to the other genres and demographics, is really the fact that we were able to at launch, provide not only critical mass of library product — which we can do in other categories — but a volume of exciting originals linked to known franchises,” Bakish said.