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

We've been testing Paramount+ since the beginning and find that it's loaded with shows and movies from CBS, Comedy Central, Paramount Network, and more.

Best value


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

Free trial: 7 days

On-demand library: 36,000+ titles

Live channels: 30+

Is Paramount Plus worth it?

Paramount+ spreads the entertainment love more evenly and widely than its predecessor CBS All Access, which was much more heavily focused on the Star Trek franchise. We think it’s a pretty good deal, which is why we named its premium tier the Best Value streamer of 2024.

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 that takes the service to the next level.

  • Cheap plans and bundles
  • Deep library of TV shows and movies
  • Local CBS livestream ($11.99 version)
  • Great value with SHOWTIME tier
  • Unskippable Paramount+ ads
  • Small lineup of originals

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Paramount Plus free trials and deals

Paramount+ 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—an excellent discount that can seriously add up.

For more ways to save, check out our Paramount+ Deals page.

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
Plan Price Hours of content Video Streams
Essential (with ads)

View plan
$5.99/mo. 30,000+ 1080p, 4K 3
Paramount+ with SHOWTIME (no ads)

View plan
$11.99/mo. 30,000+ 1080p, 4K 3

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’ll still see ads on live channels and sports.

Paramount Plus vs. the competition

Service Price Video Streams Compatible devices Details
Paramount+ $5.99–$11.99/mo. or $59.99–$119.99/yr. 1080p 3 12+ View plans
Netflix $6.99–$22.99/mo. 1080p, 4K 2–4 14+ View plans
Hulu $7.99–$17.99/mo. 1080p, 4K 2 13+ View plans
Prime Video $8.99–$14.99/mo. or $139.00/yr. 1080p, 4K 3 13+ View plans
Disney+ $7.99–$13.99/mo. or $139.99/yr. 1080p, 4K 4 13+ View plans
Max $9.99–$19.99/mo. or $99.99–$199.99/yr. 1080p, 4K 2–4 10+ View plans
Apple TV+ $9.99/mo. 1080p, 4K 6 7+ View plans
Peacock $5.99–$11.99/mo. or $59.99–$119.99/yr. 1080p, 4K 3 12+ View plans
Discovery+ $4.99–$8.99/mo. 1080p, 4K 4 12+ View plans
Service Price Editorial rating Video Streams Compatible devices

View plans
$5.99–$11.99/mo. or $59.99–$119.99/yr. 4.25/5 1080p 3 12+

View plans
$6.99–$22.99/mo. 4.2/5 1080p, 4K 1–4 14+

View plans
$7.99–$17.99/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+

View plans
$7.99–$13.99/mo. or $139.99/yr. 4.4/5 1080p, 4K 4 13+

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

View plans
$9.99/mo. 4.3/5 1080p, 4K 6 7+

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

View plans
$4.99–$8.99/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 Peacock. Only the ad-supported free tier of Discovery+ 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. 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+.

There are a few high-profile omissions from Paramount+’s library. The big one you won’t find is 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
  • 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
  • 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

SHOWTIME on Paramount Plus

SHOWTIME is now officially part of Paramount+, and you can no longer purchase it as a standalone service. Instead, you can find SHOWTIME content in the $11.99-a-month, ad-free “Paramount+ with SHOWTIME” plan. It’s a pretty good deal for a streaming bundle, and it grants you access to a lot of great content.

SHOWTIME titles (partial list):

  • Billions
  • Couples Therapy
  • Dexter: New Blood
  • Queer as Folk
  • Shameless
  • The Tudors
  • Yellowjackets
  • 1917
  • Bodies Bodies Bodies
  • Forrest Gump
  • Kinky Boots
  • Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
  • Pearl
  • Thelma & Louise

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 are also several excellent Star Trek series and many TV hits from Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan. Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies was also very good, but it disappeared from the service just a few weeks after its finale.

On the other side of the reviews, Jordan Peele’s Twilight Zone revival received mixed reactions and left the service, while so-so series Strange Angel and Tell Me a Story were 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
  • Criminal Minds: Evolution
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks
  • The Game
  • School Spirits
  • The Good Fight
  • Evil
  • Mike Judge’s Beavis & Butt-Head
  • iCarly
  • Star Trek: Discovery
  • Star Trek: Picard

Hear from real customers

"Paramount has a lot of different choices. I enjoy watching it, but the commercials are frequent and long."

Paramount Plus live sports

Live sports on Paramount+ will make soccer, golf, and college sports fans happy. But you’ll need the Paramount+ with SHOWTIME plan for the complete coverage roster. NFL games (including the Super Bowl on select years), NCAA March Madness matchups (excluding those aired on TBS, TNT, and truTV), and PGA Tour tournaments can be found on Paramount+.

The service 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-a-month 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 specs and features

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

Multiple streams

Plan Included streams Offline downloads
Paramount+ Essential 3 No
Paramount+ with SHOWTIME 3 Yes

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/SHOWTIME 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; the ad-supported tier 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 (select models)
Nintendo Switch
PC, Mac web browsers
PlayStation 4, 5
Roku Ultra, Express, Premiere, Stick, TV
Samsung TVs (select models)
Vizio TVs (select models)
Xbox One, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X
Xfinity X1

Data effective as of post date.

Video and audio quality

Paramount+ primarily streams at 1080p HD for on-demand content, though live TV is more in the 720p range due to the nature of livestreaming. Paramount+ with SHOWTIME subscribers can watch select programming in 4K, but only certain devices are supported. Either way, 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. But like 4K video, Dolby Atmos audio is available to premium subscribers on select content.

Is Paramount Plus worth the money?

Paramount+ is best for people looking for a streaming service that combines catalogs from many popular brands, like CBS, Comedy Central, BET, Nickelodeon, and MTV—that’s a gold mine of content by itself. Plus, the premium plan with SHOWTIME for $11.99 a month is a great deal we can’t ignore.

However, while the original shows are getting better all the time, Paramount+ is going to have to step up production to compete with Netflix and Hulu. And Paramount+ doesn’t offer much for sports or movie fans. Unless you’re into international soccer and dusty flicks you haven’t watched since the last time you visited a Blockbuster Video, that is.

Paramount Plus FAQ

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

Paramount Plus and Paramount Network are different things. Paramount+ (formerly CBS All Access) is an on-demand streaming service, 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).

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.

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.

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/mo., and the Premium plan (now renamed as Paramount+ with SHOWTIME) increased from $9.99 to $11.99/mo. 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.

Why you should trust us

Our TV experts conduct hours of hands-on testing with Paramount+ each month. Through our monthly assessment, we rate the streaming service on bang for your buck, reliability, features, and customer satisfaction. Then, we compare Paramount+ with other on-demand streaming services head to head to give a clearer picture of its current strengths and weaknesses.

For more information on our methodology, check out our How We Rank page.

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