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Paramount Plus Review: Cost, Plans, Shows, and More

We've tested Paramount+ for over a year and found that it's loaded with shows and movies from CBS, Comedy Central, Paramount Network, and more.

Most content for cheap

Paramount+

Price: $5.99–$11.99/mo. or $59.99–$119.99/yr.

Free trial: 7 days

On-demand library: 36,000+ titles

Live channels: 4

Is Paramount Plus good?

Paramount+ is a rebrand of CBS All Access, which was a scattershot of originals, older shows, random movies, and stacks upon stacks of Star Trek. In our review of CBS All Access, we suggested that CBS All Access could just as easily be titled Star Trek+, but Paramount+ spreads the entertainment love more evenly and widely.

In all, Paramount+ features around 30,000 shows from CBS, Comedy Central, Paramount Network, BET, MTV, VH1, and other channels, and hundreds of movies from the Paramount Pictures library. It’s a lot like CBS All Access, plus more.

CBS All Access fans won’t find anything to complain about with Paramount+, and newcomers will probably be less confused—it’s not just about CBS TV shows. We thought CBS All Access was OK; Paramount+ comes much closer to good (but not quite perfect) with more content from all of ViacomCBS’s networks, plus a bundle with SHOWTIME.

Pros

  • Cheap plans and bundles
  • Deep library of TV shows and movies
  • Local CBS livestream ($11.99 version)

Cons

  • Unskippable Paramount+ ads
  • Small lineup of originals

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Paramount Plus free trials and deals

Paramount+, like CBS All Access before it, offers a seven-day free trial period to try out the service. You can also sign up for a full year of Paramount+ for 50% off, which is a great discount that can seriously add up.

Paramount Plus plans and pricing

Plan Price Hours of content Video Streams Details
Essential (with ads) $5.99/mo. 30,000+ 1080p, 4K 3 View Plan
Paramount+ With SHOWTIME (no ads) $11.99/mo. 30,000+ 1080p, 4K 3 View Plan

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Paramount+ recently increased its ad-supported tier by a dollar, from $4.99 a month to $5.99 a month. The new, cheaper Essential plan also dropped local CBS station live TV streaming, as well as offline downloads for mobile viewing.

Also, be aware that “no ads” on the Paramount+ With SHOWTIME plan only applies to on-demand content—you’re still going to see ads on live TV, because it’s live.

Paramount Plus vs. the competition

Service Price Editorial rating Video Streams Compatible devices Details
Paramount+ $5.99–$11.99/mo. or $59.99–$119.99/yr. 4.25/5 1080p 3 12+ View Plans for Paramount Plus
Netflix $6.99–$19.99/mo. 4.2/5 1080p, 4K 1–4 14+ View Plans for Netflix
Hulu $7.99–$14.99/mo. 4.475/5 1080p, 4K 2 13+ View Plans for Hulu
Prime Video $8.99–$14.99/mo. or $139.00/yr. 4.2/5 1080p, 4K 3 13+ View plans
Disney+ $7.99–$10.99/mo. or $109.99/yr. 4.4/5 1080p, 4K 4 13+ View Plans for Disney Plus
Max $9.99–$19.99/mo. or $99.99–$199.99/yr. 4.5/5 1080p, 4K 3 10+ View Plans for HBO Max
Apple TV+ $6.99/mo. 4.3/5 1080p, 4K 6 7+ View Plans for Apple TV+
Peacock $5.99–$11.99/mo. or $59.99–$119.99/yr. 4.3/5 1080p, 4K 3 12+ View Plans for Peacock
Discovery+ $4.99–$6.99/mo. 4.0/5 1080p, 4K 4 12+ View Plans for Discovery+
Service Price Editorial rating Video Streams Compatible devices
Paramount+

View Plans for Paramount Plus
$5.99–$11.99/mo. or $59.99–$119.99/yr. 4.25/5 1080p 3 12+
Netflix

View Plans for Netflix
$6.99–$19.99/mo. 4.2/5 1080p, 4K 1–4 14+
Hulu

View Plans for Hulu
$7.99–$14.99/mo. 4.475/5 1080p, 4K 2 13+
Prime Video

View plans
$8.99–$14.99/mo. or $139.00/yr. 4.2/5 1080p, 4K 3 13+
Disney+

View Plans for Disney Plus
$7.99–$10.99/mo. or $109.99/yr. 4.4/5 1080p, 4K 4 13+
Max

View Plans for HBO Max
$9.99–$19.99/mo. or $99.99–$199.99/yr. 4.5/5 1080p, 4K 3 10+
Apple TV+

View Plans for Apple TV+
$6.99/mo. 4.3/5 1080p, 4K 6 7+
Peacock

View Plans for Peacock
$5.99–$11.99/mo. or $59.99–$119.99/yr. 4.3/5 1080p, 4K 3 12+
Discovery+

View Plans for Discovery+
$4.99–$6.99/mo. 4.0/5 1080p, 4K 4 12+

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Paramount+ falls in the inexpensive end of the streaming pack, in line with Apple TV+ and Discovery+. Only the ad-supported free tier of Peacock goes for less per month.

Shows and movies on Paramount Plus

Paramount Plus shows and movies

With over 30,000 hours TV shows and movies, Paramount+ can hold its own against corporate vault streamers like Peacock and Max (formerly HBO Max). Like those two, Paramount+ features content-specific hubs: CBS, Comedy Central, BET, MTV, Nickelodeon, and Smithsonian Channel. You can also find shows, movies, and live TV through the top menu. We have a few recs in our What to Watch on Paramount+ guide, btw.

You’re able to watch the latest episodes of CBS shows the day after they’ve aired on CBS live TV, including comedies, dramas, late-night talk shows (like The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and The Late Late Show with James Corden), and news (like 60 Minutes, Face the Nation, and 48 Hours).

There’s also a deep trove of shows and stand-up specials from Comedy Central, as well as all 10 seasons of VH1 staple RuPaul’s Drag Race, and every Star Trek series and movie from the ‘60s forward. Previously aired CBS specials like The Grammy Awards can also be found on Paramount+.

The biggest MIA show: popular Paramount Network drama Yellowstone, which streams seasons 1–4 exclusively on Peacock. If you’re looking for Kevin Costner’s Sons of Anarchy on a Ranch, it’s not on Paramount+. A close runner-up: former CBS series The Big Bang Theory (it’s on Max).

The Paramount+ live TV streaming channels (Premium plan only) are composed of CBS (your local station), CBSN (24/7 news), CBS Sports HQ (around-the-clock sports analysis and live games), and ET Live (Entertainment Tonight on a perpetual loop).

Shows on Paramount Plus (partial list):

  • Young Sheldon
  • Evil
  • The Neighborhood
  • FBI
  • Mom
  • Love Island
  • Chappelle’s Show
  • Comedy Central standup specials
  • Daria
  • Bar Rescue
  • Wings
  • Tosh.0
  • Key & Peele
  • RuPaul’s Drag Race
  • All Rise
  • CSI
  • Survivor
  • The Good Wife
  • Beverly Hills, 90210
  • Big Brother
  • Star Trek series

Kids’ shows on Paramount Plus (partial list):

  • Peppa Pig
  • SpongeBob SquarePants
  • The Fairly Oddparents
  • Blue’s Clues
  • Bob the Builder
  • The Backyardigans
  • Bubble Guppies
  • CatDog
  • Are You Afraid of the Dark?
  • Clarissa Explains it All
  • Dora the Explorer
  • Doug
  • Crashletes
  • iCarly
  • Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness
  • Inspector Gadget
  • Strawberry Shortcake
  • Super Mario World
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • The Thundermans

Movies on Paramount Plus (partial list):

  • Indiana Jones movies
  • Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle
  • Sin City
  • From Dusk till Dawn
  • Grease
  • The Uninvited
  • Vanilla Sky
  • Failure to Launch
  • Minority Report
  • Black Sheep
  • Election
  • Kingpin
  • Nacho Libre
  • Scrooged
  • Sahara
  • Snow Day
  • Up in Smoke
  • Aeon Flux
  • Star Trek movies

Paramount Plus original shows and movies

The Paramount+ roster of exclusive originals is small but growing, and includes critical hits like The Good Fight, Why Women Kill, and the latest adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand. There’s also a trifecta of excellent Star Trek series, and a new crime thriller, Mayor of Kingstown.

On the other side of the reviews, Jordan Peele’s Twilight Zone revival has received mixed reactions, and so-so series Strange Angel and Tell Me a Story were both canceled after two seasons. Apart from a small but growing number of gems, the value of Paramount+ isn’t yet in the originals.

Paramount Plus originals (partial list):

  • Mayor of Kingstown
  • 1883
  • Guilty Party
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks
  • Star Trek: Prodigy
  • The Game
  • The Good Fight
  • Evil
  • Mike Judge’s Beavis & Butt-Head
  • iCarly
  • Star Trek: Discovery
  • Star Trek: Picard

Paramount Plus live sports

Live sports on Paramount+ is limited to what’s carried by CBS TV and cable’s CBS Sports Network (Paramount+ With SHOWTIME plan only). NFL games (including the Super Bowl on select years), NCAA March Madness games (excluding those aired on TBS, TNT, and truTV), Masters golf, and college hockey (yes, it’s a thing) can be found on Paramount+.

Paramount+ also features a healthy lineup of UEFA and NWSL soccer coverage. It probably won’t cater to all of your sports needs, but Paramount+ has a bit more than most other on-demand streaming services.

Paramount Plus local channels

You get exactly one local channel with Paramount+: a live feed of your area CBS affiliate ($11.99 tier only). Since all CBS shows are available on-demand, Paramount+ doesn’t offer a cloud DVR to record anything from its live feed.

Also, the live schedule doesn’t include any local or news programming, just CBS’s primetime series. You’ll have to find The Drew Barrymore Show on your own.

Paramount Plus channel add-ons

As of June 2023, Paramount+ has become the streaming home for all things SHOWTIME. The standalone SHOWTIME app will eventually be phased out, but classic SHOWTIME will still be available as an add-on to cable, satellite, and live-streaming TV services.

The Paramount+ Premium plan has now become Paramount+ with SHOWTIME, with a two-dollar price increase to $11.99 per month. For all the quality content you get with this bundle, though (SHOWTIME has shows like the new hit Yellowjackets and old favorites like Dexter), it’s not a bad deal.

Paramount Plus specs and features

Paramount+ carries over the same specs and features from CBS All Access; no major overhauls came with the rebrand.

Multiple streams

Service Included streams Upgrades Offline downloads
Paramount+ 3 None Yes (Premium, $9.99/mo.)

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Along with its plans and pricing changes, Paramount+ also upped its simultaneous streams from two to three, which is the average for most streaming services (what’s up with two, Hulu?).

The Premium tier of Paramount+ allows for offline downloads of most content for viewing on-the-go, minus Comedy Central, BET, MTV, Smithsonian, and some Nickelodeon shows; Essentials does not.

Compatible devices

Device Paramount+
Amazon Fire Cube, Stick, TV
Android phones, tablets
Android TV
Apple TV (4th gen.)
Apple TV 4K
Chromecast, Chromecast with Google TV
Echo Show
iPhone, iPad
LG TVs
Nintendo Switch
NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro
PC, Mac Web browsers
PlayStation 3, 4, 5
Roku Ultra, Express, Premiere, Stick, TV
Samsung TVs
Wii
Xbox 360
Xfinity Flex, X1

Data effective as of post date.

What CBS All Access got right was making itself available on all the major streaming platforms, which means Paramount+ likely won’t be absent from your device. Unless it’s a Nintendo.

Video and audio quality

Paramount+ streams at 1080p HD on-demand, though live TV is more in the 720p range due to the nature of livestreaming. As we mentioned in our CBS All Access review, it’s kind of a shame that shows like Star Trek: Discovery can’t get the 4K treatment, but Paramount+’s 1080p resolution still looks (dilithium) crystal clear.

Paramount Plus Home Screen

The Paramount+ home screen is fairly easy to navigate, with a top menu, six channel (or “Brand”) hubs, and descending rows featuring “Latest Full Episodes” from CBS, “Trending Shows,” “Recently Added Shows,” “On Now” livestreams, “Sports,” and more.

Paramount Plus Trending Shows

While the shows and movies sections are neatly sortable by genre, like “Comedy,” “Drama,” “Documentary,” etc., the hubs don’t offer the same navigation. Sure, it would be redundant to search “Comedy” within the Comedy Central hub, but some specific options (like “Standup” or “Animation”) would be nice.

Paramount+ streams in standard 2.0 stereo audio.

Final take: Is Paramount Plus worth it?

If you were already a CBS All Access subscriber, you now have Paramount+, so it’s not like we have to convince you to switch—it’s the same service, but with more shows. For those who were on the fence about CBS All Access, however, Paramount+ is easier to define: it’s not just NCIS and Star Trek reruns.

The real selling point of Paramount+ is its deep catalog of shows from CBS, Comedy Central, BET, Nickelodeon, and MTV—that’s a gold mine of content by itself. The original shows are getting better all the time, but Paramount+ is going to have to step up production to compete with Netflix and Hulu. Plus, the new bundle with SHOWTIME also helps bump up Paramount+’s quality.

Lastly, Paramount+ doesn’t offer much for sports or movie fans. Unless you’re into European soccer and dusty flicks you haven’t watched since the last time you visited a Blockbuster Video, that is.

Paramount Plus FAQ

How much does Paramount Network cost?

Paramount Network can cost you anywhere from $5.99 per month (for select on-demand content on Paramount+) to roughly $50.00–$100.00 per month for a live TV streaming service or traditional cable TV provider that carries the channel.

Is Yellowstone on Paramount Plus?

Kevin Costner cable hit Yellowstone, which first runs on Paramount Network, is not streaming on Paramount+. Since it’s not owned or produced by Paramount Network or ViacomCBS, the production company was free to shop Yellowstone to other streaming outlets. The first four seasons of Yellowstone are currently streaming on Peacock.

What’s the difference between Paramount Plus and Paramount Network?

Paramount Plus and Paramount Network aren’t the same thing. Paramount+ is the new name of the original streaming service CBS All Access, while Paramount Network (formerly Spike TV) is a cable/satellite TV channel. Both are owned by ViacomCBS.

Paramount+ streams some shows from Paramount Network (like Bar Rescue and Ink Master) but doesn’t have the rights to other popular series (like Yellowstone and Lip Sync Battle).

Did Paramount Plus replace CBS All Access?

In March 2021, Paramount+ became the new name of CBS All Access. Paramount+ is a rebrand, not a replacement, of the same streaming service, which will function as it did before, with new content additions from networks Comedy Central, BET, MTV, and Smithsonian Channel.

What is the monthly cost of Paramount Plus?

Paramount Plus costs $5.99–$11.99/mo. or $59.99–$119.99/yr.. In June 2023 the basic, ad-supported Paramount+ Essential plan increased its price from $4.99 to $5.99 per month, and the Premium plan (now renamed as Paramount+ with SHOWTIME) increased from $9.99 to $11.99 per month. Learn more about Paramount+ bundles here.

How do I get Paramount Plus for free?

You can get Paramount Plus for free with a free 7-day trial or by logging into the Paramount Plus app using your current cable, satellite, or live TV streaming login.

Methodology

Our experts employed hours of hands-on testing with Paramount+, rating the streaming service on bang for your buck, reliability, features, and customer satisfaction. Then we matched up Paramount+ with other on-demand streaming services head to head to give a clearer picture of its strengths and weaknesses. For more information on our methodology, check out our How We Rank page.

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