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Paramount+ video streamer launching in 2023 in South Africa.

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The Paramount+ video streaming service from ViacomCBS will launch in South Africa next year, very likely in conjunction with MultiChoice as a so-called “hard bundle” app, although pricing and details for the streamer’s rollout in 2023 is still to be worked out.

The launch of Paramount+ – that bundles a massive library and new content ranging from Paramount Pictures films, Paramount+ Originals, Nickelodeon, MTV and CBS Studios – will follow after the launch of The Walt Disney Company’s Disney+ streamer in South Africa within months, expected anytime from June 2022.

It means South African video consumers will get Disney+ next, followed by Paramount+, and then likely WarnerMedia’s HBO Max (that will contain Discovery+), and possibly NBCUniversal’s Peacock, although WarnerMedia and NBCUniversal are yet to say anything publicly about expanding into Africa.

Paramount+, Disney+ and HBO Max will join the existing streaming services already present in South Africa and all battling to grow their market share and to scale their subscriber bases like Netflix SA, Amazon Prime Video, MultiChoice’s Showmax, Apple TV+, eMedia’s eVOD, Vodacom’s Video Play, VIU, Britbox SA and Acorn TV.

The South African launch of Paramount+ will be as a stand-alone app and through connected TV sets, but will very likely also be in partnership with the MultiChoice Group which has existing deals to carry Netflix and Amazon Prime Video as apps on its DStv Explora Ultra decoder.

ViacomCBS, which this week rebranded as Paramount, already has so-called “hard bundle” deals in place with pay-TV operators like Comcast’s Sky in the United Kingdom carrying Paramount+, and SkyShowtime as a joint venture in Europe with Comcast, with Vivendi’s Canal+ that will launch Paramount+ in France in December in a similar way as well.

Tom Ryan, president and CEO of streaming at Paramount, for the first time at the company’s latest investors’ presentation this week, confirmed that Paramount+ is definitely coming to Africa.  With South Africa as the most sophisticated television market on the continent, it’s a shoo-in that Paramount+ will be launching in South Africa next year, in the way that Disney+ will this year.

“We’re leveraging our global footprint to bring Paramount+ to new markets with enormous potential,” he said. “We’re deploying hard bundles, where we work with a local provider to give their customers immediate access to Paramount+ as well as direct-to-consumer (DTC app), and a la carte distribution.” Paramount is also creating new and cheaper “mobile-only” plans for markets where mobile devices dominate streaming consumption – something else that will likely be a defining feature when Paramount+ comes to South Africa next year.

“Beginning in 2023, we’ll turn out sights to Asia, Africa and the Middle East,” Tom Ryan said during the investors’ presentation, “building on our momentum to bring Paramount+ to every region of the world.” “Our global expansion underscores an important lesson in streaming: The stories we create are only as powerful as the audience they reach. So in addition to expanding Paramount+ to more people, we’re also enhancing the service itself.” Raffaele Annecchino, Paramount president & CEO for international networks, studios and streaming, in a statement about the launch of Paramount+ in partnership with Canal+, said that Paramount is “strategically creating a streaming model for long-term growth”.

“Our subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) premium services allow us to expand our streaming business in more than 60 markets, as we build our momentum toward expanding Paramount+ in all the markets across the world”.

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