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movement in the streaming market

Fans of the science fiction cult films "Star Trek" in particular should eagerly await the launch of the Paramount+ streaming service in Germany. Because the new platform owns the rights to the films and series – including for the new series "Strange New Worlds", which is scheduled to start in the USA in May.

Paramount+ is part of the US media group ViacomCBS. In order to further improve marketing and thus attack the streaming market dominated by Netflix, Disney, Amazon and Apple, the company changed its name this week. From now on it's called like its own famous film studio: Paramount. "Paramount is an idea: a promise to be the best," said founding heiress Shari Redstone, who is also the chair of the board of directors.

"Pioneers of an Exciting New Future"

With its long history, Paramount was a pioneer of the golden age of Hollywood, emphasized company boss Bob Bakish. "Today, as we embrace the Paramount name, we are pioneers of an exciting new future." Paramount Pictures is one of the five major studios in the USA and has produced classics such as "Raiders of the Lost Ark", "The Godfather", "Play Me the Song of Death", "Forest Gump" or "Titanic". Paramount has also produced recent films such as "Mission Impossible" and "Transformers".

Now the media group, which also owns TV stations such as CBS, Showtime, Comedy Central and MTV as well as the free streaming portal Pluto TV, wants to get involved in the streaming market on a large scale. "We know the opportunity we have is huge," Bakish continued. Paramount+ has been available in its current form since March 2021. More than 2,000 films and almost 600 series should already be available in the USA. There are also sports offers, reality TV, comedy shows and breaking news.

At the end of the year, Paramount+ had 32.8 million users worldwide, as the group announced when presenting the business figures. In the fourth quarter alone, around 7.3 million were added. However, there is still a long way to go to catch up with the streaming giants. For comparison: Disney + currently has almost 130 million subscribers, rival Netflix around 222 million. Paramount wants to break the 100 million mark by 2024.

Paramount+ could come to Germany at the end of the year

The group spends a lot of money on content for this. In 2024, more than six billion dollars are to flow into two "South Park" films, a "Baby Shark" film for younger children and a new "Dora the Explorer" series, among other things. In addition to the Star Trek content, Paramount's new science fiction series "Halo", which is based on the video game series, as well as well-known formats such as "Dexter" are to be shown this year.

So far, Paramount+ is only available in the US, Canada, Latin America, Hungary, Russia and the Middle East. Great Britain will join them in the summer. Germany and other parts of Europe should eventually follow at the end of the year. In Europe, Paramount is working with Sky. The result: the portal will be available both as a single subscription and as part of the German pay-TV broadcaster's cinema subscription at no extra charge.

Paramount follows its rival NBCUniversal. The New York media company also made a deal with Sky for its new streaming service Peacock to place its content there. As a result, films and series from the Hollywood studio Universal Pictures have been available in Germany since the end of January. These include "Gladiator", "Dr. House" or "Battlestar Galactica". In the USA it has already been announced that "Fast & Furious 9", which will be released in cinemas in 2021, will also be released exclusively by Peacock.

RTL completes deal with Warner

From 2024, all new films from Paramount Pictures will only be available on Paramount+ after they leave the big screen. Disney takes a similar approach, showing their blockbusters “Star Wars” or “Avengers” only on Disney+. The strategy of the production companies is hitting the established streaming providers Netflix and Amazon Prime Video particularly hard. Although they are now making more and more films of their own, the loss of popular highlights cannot necessarily be compensated for. This is proven by the recent slowdown in growth in user numbers.

Another problem are private TV stations, which are also upgrading their media libraries. RTL could now have made a breakthrough for its growing RTL+ streaming service: The company closed a deal with the US media group Warner. "The agreement gives RTL Germany access to numerous highlights from the US major studio's extensive portfolio," RTL announced on Wednesday. The package also includes productions from the Warner streaming subsidiary HBO Max, such as "Game of Thrones".

In addition, RTL will receive rights for first broadcasts on free TV. "The partnership with Warner Bros. Germany will start in the first quarter of this year and is said to last for several years. Warner's portfolio includes cinema films such as the "Harry Potter" series, "Batman" or "Wonder Woman". Range from "Pretty Little Liars" to "Sex and the City" to "The Big Bang Theory".

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