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Paramount+ Not the Same as Paramount: Here Are the Differences

Paramount+ and Paramount provide access to a lot of the same content, but they are not the same. It’s worth being aware of the differences.

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Paramount+ and Paramount offer access to a lot of the same shows and content, but they are not the same. The difference is not only in terms of the content, but also the price, and even the apps and websites used to watch movies and shows. Understanding how they are different can help to decide which subscription is right for an individual or household.

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Paramount, or Paramount Network, is a traditional cable channel which requires a paid subscription to access. Although it is cable channel, that doesn’t mean it has to be a cable subscription. Instead, consumers can choose between one of the many live TV streaming services now operating in the US, providing they make sure that Paramount is part of the channel lineup. The exact cost will depend on the live TV service and the other channels included with a subscription.

Paramount Plus, or Paramount+ is a streaming service. Unlike Paramount Network, Paramount Plus does not require a live TV subscription. Instead, subscribers can sign up to the service directly through the Paramount+ website and benefit from paying a lower cost each month, or bundle Paramount+ with Showtime. The standard “Essentials” Paramount Plus subscription costs $4.99 per month, but consumers can also upgrade to the “Premium” plan at $9.99 per month. The differences between the two plans mainly come down to an ad-free experience and the option to watch a local live CBS station.

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Similar content, but not identical

Paramount Network and Paramount Plus are both owned by ViacomCBS. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that a lot of the content overlaps between the two services. Essentially, Paramount Plus is the on-demand streaming side of Paramount. This means a substantial number of the shows broadcast on Paramount will be available to watch on Paramount Plus. However, this doesn’t mean all of them, or that they will be available to watch at the same time.

As Paramount is a linear channel, subscribers are able to tune in at a given time and watch what’s on, including the latest episodes of the newest shows. Technically, Paramount Plus does also offer access to some live TV programming, but it’s not the same schedule as what’s on Paramount Network. Another major difference between the two is that Paramount Plus is not only limited to Paramount content.

Paramount Plus was previously called CBS All Access. The service not only changed name in 2021, but was also padded out with more content. Due to this, a Paramount Plus subscription also comes with access to episodes and movies from a variety of popular channels, including CBS, BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, and, of course, Paramount Network.

Similar services, different apps

Another important difference to be aware of is how the two services are accessed. While Paramount Network is available to stream with a live TV subscription, it is also possible to watch live and on demand content through the Paramount website or by downloading the Paramount Network app on a compatible device. A live TV subscription is still needed to watch through the app or website, as the live TV provider account details are used to authenticate and unlock all of the content that’s available to watch.

In contrast, Paramount Plus cannot be accessed thorough the same app and website. Instead, Paramount+ is only available to watch by visiting the Paramount Plus website or directly through the Paramount+ app on a supported device. As long as the individual has already set up a standalone Paramount Plus subscription, they will be able to log in with their account details and stream. As Paramount Plus was previously CBS All Access, all of the older CBS apps have since been updated and changed to Paramount+ apps.

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To recap, these are separate apps and subscriptions and cannot be used interchangeably. In other words, Paramount subscribers cannot use their live TV subscription to watch content on the Paramount+ app. Likewise, Paramount Plus subscribers cannot use their account to log in to the Paramount Network app or website. Consumers will need to make sure they are downloading the right app or visiting the correct website.

Paramount+ and Paramount summary

Paramount and Paramount Plus sound similar and even offer access to a lot of the same content, but they are not the same. The main difference is that Paramount is a traditional cable channel that requires a live TV subscription, while Paramount Plus is a standalone streaming service. This not only results in a difference in content that’s available to watch, but also the cost each month and even the apps that need to be downloaded on a device.

As these are different products, they cannot be used interchangeably. Paramount Plus subscribers can only watch through the Paramount+ apps or by visiting the website. Likewise, Paramount subscribers can only watch through their live TV service provider, the Paramount Network app, or by visiting the website and authenticating their live TV subscription.

By John Finn

John started Streaming Clarity to help consumers navigate the live TV streaming and subscription service landscape. John has been writing about technology and TV-related services and devices since 2014 and believes the best streaming approach is to bounce between services as needed. Contact John via email at john@streamingclarity.com or on Twitter

4 replies on “Paramount+ Not the Same as Paramount: Here Are the Differences”

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thanks for the clarity of the situation… bottom line if the show is a hotty they are going to make you pay yet again. to see the darn thing…its all about the money not convenience.

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