Marco Nobili and Olivier Jollet
In the midst of the streaming war, where the number of platforms is growing every day, and the content available to consumers is almost unlimited, offering a solid and attractive product is not easy. In the case of Paramount, the company found a recipe that worked out well and that many other players are now looking to emulate: offering a premium subscription-based platform (Paramount+) and another based on advertising (Pluto TV). To learn more about this approach and talk about the global expansion plans for both services, Señal News interviewed Marco Nobili, Executive Vice President, International General Manager of Paramount+, and Olivier Jollet, Executive Vice President, International General Manager of Pluto TV.
● What role does streaming play in the company's overall strategy?
Nobili: "Streaming is key to Paramount's global strategy. We have found success in accelerating this strategy by using a market-by-market approach, allowing us to expand into new markets quickly and economically. With 6.8 million net subscriber additions last quarter, Paramount+ has established itself as one of the fastest-growing brands due in part to our global expansion efforts. We most recently saw successful launches in both the UK and Italy, and we look forward to continued growth as we enter 45 markets by year-end, including France, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria."
Jollet: "Through this market-by-market approach, we are not only accelerating our paid streaming presence but also our presence in the ad-supported market. Pluto TV continues to scale its market share and expand its content offering in global markets. We have grown Pluto TV's monthly active users to nearly 70 million and secured its lead as the number-one free ad-supported streaming TV service, with more than 1.000 channels globally through more than 425 content partners."
● How do you feel the company's SVOD and AVOD offerings complement each other?
Nobili: "Our mix of streaming options allows us to cater to various audiences based on their preferred viewing experience. On Paramount+, viewers are given the opportunity to choose from a vast content library of blockbuster movies, hit TV shows, and new originals that span Paramount's portfolio of iconic brands."
Jollet: "Pluto TV delivers a wide range of content spanning categories including movies and television, news & opinion, sports, comedy, reality, crime, classic TV, game shows, explore, gaming & anime, music, 'En Español,' kids, and more. While we do not have any original content, we do have original channels, a variety of which are dedicated solely to popular Paramount IP, allowing audiences to enjoy iconic titles from 'SpongeBob' to 'CSI' to 'Star Trek.'"
● How do you stand out from the rest in a streaming market overcrowded with platforms?
Nobili: "We are at a different growth phase and have a fundamentally different approach than the legacy streamers. We have a diversified playbook with Paramount+ as part of our strong portfolio of direct-to-consumer, broadcast video-on-demand, ad-based video-on-demand, free ad-supported streaming TV, pay channels, and free-to-air networks, all of which have an established base of viewers. Our experience in successfully running all aspects of this vast portfolio gives us a huge advantage over our competitors. We also have found value in establishing distribution partnerships and growing the global accessibility of Paramount+, as illustrated in our recent multi-year distribution agreement with Sky in the UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany, and Austria. We make it easy for audiences around the world to access great entertainment. From fan-favorite films to new original series, we are committed to delivering an expansive selection of cannot-miss entertainment for fans of all ages."
● Would Paramount consider implementing a model that somehow combines all the company’s streaming platforms?
Jollet: "Paramount is a handful of companies with a content pipeline that can lead in all segments of the global entertainment market. Our mix of free and paid streaming options has been at the heart of our strategy from the start, offering viewers the freedom to choose the plan that is right for them. We also have seen that consumers want both a lean back and a lean forward experience, and through our powerful ecosystem, we are able to cater to both viewing experiences."
● When it comes to producing or acquiring content, what is Paramount's strategy for shaping the programming offer of both Paramount+ and Pluto TV?
Nobili: "At Paramount, we expect to grow our global direct-to-consumer expense to over US$6 billion in 2024, allowing us to continue to produce quality content both globally and locally. We know audiences have big expectations, and we have something for everyone, from blockbusters to new star-studded originals to iconic shows with the stars we know and love. As our service expands globally, we will continue to invest in local content, allowing us to expand our pipeline of premium intentional originals and cater to an array of audiences. With 12 studios creating content locally around the world, we plan to greenlight 150 international originals by 2025 while continuing to draw viewers in with highly anticipated original series, movies, and sports. From global to local content, we truly provide a mountain of entertainment for all fans everywhere."
Jollet: "Pluto TV creates a unique and curated experience in each market, offering premium content packaged into channels programmed by local teams. We combine our team's expertise in content genres and streaming data to make informed and intentional decisions when acquiring content and launching new channels."
● What are your future plans regarding Paramount's streaming expansion?
Nobili: "We remain focused on expanding Paramount+ on a global scale, bringing international blockbuster hits such as 'Top Gun: Maverick,' and original series such as 'Tulsa King' and '1923' to audiences around the world. With the service launching in France, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria in December, Paramount+ will be available in more than 45 markets globally by the end of the year. Beyond 2022, we look forward to debuting the service in India next year while continuing to deliver incredible value to our subscribers."
Jollet: "Expanding Pluto TV internationally is critical to Paramount's overall streaming strategy. We plan on continuing to leverage our distribution partnerships to introduce Pluto TV in new markets, with our next launch set for December 1 in Canada, where the service will debut with its most robust content offering to date with more than 100 unique, curated channels and over 20.000 hours of content."
By Federico Marzullo