Paramount+ offers a Premium plan that removes the ads, but there are still times when ad-free subscribers might encounter commercials. The exact reason can vary, depending on the content being watched and the ad itself. If this is a recurring problem and too many ads are being shown when streaming, then it may be an indication that there is a problem. However, in most cases, the ads seen by ad-free customers are intentional and that’s unlikely to change.
Paramount+ launched in early 2021 with plans starting from as little as $4.99 per month. Technically, the cheapest plan at launch was $5.99 per month, but that has since changed with the introduction of the $4.99 plan. Regardless of the cost of the cheapest Paramount+ plan, there is the option to go premium for $9.99 per month.
Generally speaking, there are very few differences between the Essential and Premium plans other than access to CBS local channels and the option to watch without commercials. Considering the ad-free experience will be the main difference for most subscribers, it can be frustrating when launching an episode or movie only to see an ad. However, there are reasons.
Paramount+ Premium is ad-free (most of the time)
Paramount’s Premium plan is an ad-free subscription. Therefore, subscribers should not see commercials when streaming videos. However, there is a major caveat here, as the ad-free experience only applies to other companies. As explained in a help post, Paramount+ will still occasionally show Paramount+ commercials, even to those subscribers paying for the Premium experience.
The company says this decision is designed to showcase the content that’s available to stream through the service. In this sense, it could be a useful way to find more shows and movies might to watch. However, they are still adverts, not shown by mistake, and there’s currently no way to stop them from showing.
Besides promoting its own programming, there may also be occasions when ads for other companies and products are shown during episodes and movies, due to programming agreements. In other words, these ads are specific to the show. As these are the result of contractual agreements, they could be subject to change at any time. For example, ads might be seen right now during episodes of American Gothic, BrainDead, Limitless and Salvation, as well as Life In Pieces, Madam Secretary and NCIS. If encountering ads specifically during these shows, this is intentional again, even for Premium subscribers.
Expect ads when watching CBS live
Besides the ad-free experience, the other major difference between the Premium and Essentials plan is the option to stream local CBS channels at no additional cost. This was also previously available to those on the cheaper plan, and still is for those on the older $5.99 ‘Limited Commercials’ plan, but was removed when the $4.99 plan launched.
Regardless of the cheaper plan, subscribers to the former ‘Commercial Free’ or the current ‘Premium’ plan have access to their local CBS channel. However, as these are live broadcasts of what’s playing on the channel right now, there is no way to escape the commercial breaks. While Paramount+ offers an ad-free subscription, that doesn’t apply to any live content, whether it’s CBS or not.
If encountering ads while watching a local CBS live stream, this is to be expected. Again, there is no option to remove these ads, even for those on an ad-free Paramount+ plan.
Are there too many ads?
Even though Paramount+ does occasionally show ads to ad-free subscribers, they shouldn’t be too excessive. When it comes to the company’s own promotional and marketing ads, Paramount+ refers to them as a “quick” break in programming. In other words, they should not run any longer than 10-15 seconds. If the ad breaks are much longer than this, or too frequent, then it could be an issue with the subscription.
If the subscriber’s commercial-free experience does not match what’s described above and they think they might be receiving an experience that’s more similar to the cheaper plan than the ad-free plan, then there is an option to try which might fix the issue. In those instances, Paramount+ recommends completely signing out of the account on a device and then signing back in again. The service does not specifically state why this might work, but it is fair to assume that the process of signing out and back in checks and validates the current subscription tier. If the user is receiving the ‘with ads’ experience instead of the ad-free experience, the logging back in again might authenticate the correct subscription level, removing the ads.
Again, the one exception to all of this is the CBS local live streams. As these are shown live, there’s no way to stop them from showing as frequently as they do or for as long as they do. Therefore, logging out of the app and back in again won’t make any difference to the duration or frequency of commercials shown on CBS local live streams.
Paramount+ ad-free plan summary
The former Commercial Free and current Premium Paramount+ plans are ad-free plans and this means subscribers can expect to watch episodes, movies and original content without encountering ads. However, it doesn’t mean that will be the case in all circumstances, with Paramount+ still showing ads to ad-free subscribers. Most commonly, ad-free subscribers are likely to see short 10-15 second ad breaks for the service’s own programming, as well as standard commercial breaks when watching local CBS live streams.
In addition, and as a result of agreements with networks and content providers, Commercial Free and Premium Paramount+ subscribers may also encounter ads when watching select shows. As these ads are specifically related to the show and not the subscription, they are subject to change over time. Unless the ad breaks are substantially longer or shown more frequently than they should be, the ads shown to Paramount+ ad-free subscribers are intentional and cannot be turned off.