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Paramount+’s Existential Questions

n.c.i.s.
Many of the most popular CBS procedurals, like N.C.I.S. and Criminal Minds, are available (and more popular) on Netflix or Hulu. Courtesy of Paramount
Julia Alexander
February 6, 2024

Who is Paramount+ for, exactly? This question comes up all the time in conversation with streaming executives. It’s a fair question. Kids these days are turning to YouTube, not Nickelodeon, whose audience has shrunk more than 70 percent over the past decade. Many of the most popular CBS procedurals, like N.C.I.S. and Criminal Minds, are available (and more popular) on Netflix or Hulu. Fans of Yellowstone might subscribe for exclusive prequels like 1883 or 1923, but even Taylor Sheridan isn’t enough to sustain an entire streaming service. 

Also, for all the talk of being a global streamer, the company has started to pull back on international distribution and is once again in the licensing business, befitting its short-term economic needs. In fact, I’d argue it’s a move in the right direction—and I imagine that potential Paramount Global suitors, including David Ellison, the Apollo guys, and Byron Allen, probably feel the same way. So what does this mean for the future of Par+?