Australia’s streaming market gets even more crowded as Paramount+ ramps up for its local launch

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  • Paramount+, the newest streaming service, is gearing up to launch in Australia later this year.
  • The move signals another company’s enthusiasm to get a foothold in Australia’s lucrative streaming market, where 14.5 million Aussies forked out to access a TV subscription service in 2020.
  • Netflix has the most subscribers in Australia, followed by Foxtel and Stan.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Paramount+, the newest streaming platform to join Australia’s increasingly crowded streaming market, is ramping up in preparation for a launch later this year.

Owned by US media conglomerate ViacomCBS, it launched in the US and parts of Latin America last week.

The platform will join an increasingly crowded market vying for Australian’s eyeballs, including international and local platforms such as – deep breath – Netflix, Stan, Stan Sport, Prime Video, Disney+, Kanopy, iView, SBS on Demand, Docplay, Foxtel Now, Binge, Kayo, YouTube Premium, Optus Sport, Tubi, Acorn TV, BritBox, Apple TV+, Hayu, Crunchyroll and AnimeLab Australia, Shudder, Mubi, iwonder, and 9Now.

Paramount+ has started to assemble a local team ahead of the streaming platform’s launch in the Australian market later this year.

The move signals another company’s enthusiasm to get a foothold in Australia’s lucrative streaming market, where 14.5 million Aussies forked out to access a TV subscription service last year, according to research by Roy Morgan.

On average, Australian households pay $35 a month on streaming video services.

Wait, there’s another streaming service?

Paramount+ is the next iteration (2.0 if you will) of US service CBS All Access.

In the Australian market, CBS All Access currently operates as 10 All Access, with Paramount+ set to replace it when it launches.

Advertised as a “supersize streamer”, it will combine the original content offering of US streamer CBS All Access – which also owns Paramount film studios, with Viacom content, following a re-merger in late 2019.

This media turducken is set to offer existing CBS-centric All Access content, supplemented with programming from MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, and VH1, as well as the promise of dozens of new original series.

Three new series will be available in Australia on Paramount+: “The Offer”, a limited series exploring the making of iconic film “The Godfather”; Lioness, a spy drama based on a real-life CIA program; and hour-long drama “First Ladies”, starring Emmy winner Viola Davis playing former first lady Michelle Obama.

They will join 10 All Access’ existing offering of more than 10,000 episodes and movies from CBS, CW and Network 10, as well as original series like “The Good Fight”, “The Twilight Zone”, “Tooning Out The News”, “Why Women Kill”, as well as previously announced titles like “Halo”, “American Rust”, “Guilty Party” and “The Harper House”.

In public statements, Tom Ryan, the executive who is leading the venture, has said he is convinced that the average consumer is now willing to include as many as five paid platforms in their monthly budget, leaving room for newcomers to squeeze a top spot.

Australia’s healthy local streaming market

Australia has been highly successful at competing with US-based platforms, with home-grown services capturing impressive market share.

Netflix has the most subscribers in Australia with around 11.9 million, trailed by Foxtel with 5.2 million, home-grown service Stan holds its own with 3.3 million.

And News Corp-owned Binge, which launched last March at the outbreak of the pandemic has managed to gain a decent foothold in the market, with 185,000 subscribers as of late last year.

While Netflix undoubtedly dominates the Australian market with a 57% share of subscribers, Aussie’s diverse viewing habits — as well as desire to access international content it has long been locked out from — bodes well for interlopers.

New hires as Paramount+ ramps up to Australia launch

Several new hires signal the streaming platform is gearing up for its Australian launch.

Chris Ledlin, who previously oversaw operations and partnerships for the Nine’s broadcast video on demand (BVOD) platform, 9Now, is joining as senior director of streaming.

Additionally, Aaron Bishop joins following stints at The Walt Disney Company, Webjet, and The Times in London, as senior director, user acquisition and retention.

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