The most anticipated new movie streaming site of 2021 is officially here. That’s right, Paramount Plus launched on March 3rd of this year, and it has already managed to generate a great deal of hype among movie and TV lovers alike. As the passion project of one of the most respected and longest-running film studios in the world, Paramount Pictures, Paramount Plus promises to be an overnight success, instantly skyrocketing into conversations of the best movie streaming sites. No doubt, by the end of the year, when people discuss the best movie streaming sites available, they will list the usual suspects – Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, etc. – but Paramount Plus is also likely to be thrown in the mix.
Why am I so confident that this hot, new streamer will be listed among the greats? Well, there are a few reasons, actually. For one thing, Paramount Plus has already announced some high-profile exclusive and original content to be rolled out over the next few months, including the return of Mike Judge’s Bevis and Butthead with a new movie, a reboot of the beloved SpongeBob SquarePants universe, a TV series based on the unbelievably popular Halo video games, and an updated take on Avatar: The Last Airbender – as well as the exclusive major motion picture debuts of A Quiet Place 2 and Mission Impossible 7, both of which will coincide with theatrical releases.
But it isn’t just new must-see content that Paramount Plus will bring to the table. This new contender for the best movie streaming site on the web also comes preloaded with plenty of classics and fan favorites. For starters, Paramount Plus has absorbed CBS All Access; therefore, CBS All Access subscribers will automatically have access to Paramount Plus as of March 3, 2021 – or, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that CBS All Access is simply becoming Paramount Plus. Nevertheless, the new streaming service will come complete with CBS All Access’s highly sought-after Star Trek catalog, as well as a wealth of CBS syndicated content.
What’s more, this movie streaming site will also have unprecedented access to popular TV programming via its branded channels. Subscribers can count on enjoying some of their favorite hard-to-find shows from networks like MTV, BET, VH1, Comedy Central, and more. Oh, and did I mention that users will also gain access to the entire catalog of Paramount Pictures movies? Maybe that one is a given, but it is no less an alluring feature.
Just in case the offerings of this streaming site sounded a little too basic for you, you may find relief in learning that Paramount Plus offers minimal live TV streaming as well. Compared to other live TV streaming services, you might find the selection to be a little thin. However, depending on your viewing habits, the type of live content offered may make up for the lack of live channels. But we’ll delve into greater depth on that a little later on.
For now, I think it suffices to say that there is no other movie streaming site out there today that is quite like Paramount Plus. In a market that is becoming as oversaturated as that of the premium streaming industry, a unique viewing experience is a hot commodity. Therefore, a high-quality movie streaming site that offers something a little bit different is always going to be welcomed with open arms by me. That being said, does Paramount Plus have what it takes to be called the best movie streaming site available? Well, let’s take a closer look and find out, shall we? There is, after all, only so much room in our budgets for monthly subscription fees…
Paramount Plus presents the kind of site design that I would expect from a 108-year-old multibillion-dollar company, especially given the relatively recent merger with Viacom CBS. The conglomerate behind this movie streaming site has a budget that most other movie streaming sites could never even dream of obtaining (with Amazon and maybe Netflix being the most notable exceptions). This definitely can be seen in Paramount Plus’s sleek, dynamic, and nearly flawless site design.
It’s not as if the people at Paramount are exactly revolutionizing movie streaming site design or anything, but it could be said that they have come close to perfecting it. The home page of the site, for instance, is bound to look fairly familiar to anybody who has used a premium movie streaming site like Netflix or Hulu before. You’ll be greeted by a large banner atop the page which carousals featured and promoted movies and shows. Below that, as per usual, you can scroll through descending rows of content, organized by genre and category.
One minor difference between Paramount Plus and most of its competitors is that in between the banner and the browsing menu sits a row of channels, allowing you to quickly navigate between the site’s hubs if you like. Click on MTV, BET, VH1, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, etc., in order to be transported to your chosen channel’s own page, where you will find what is potentially my only design complaint.
The hub pages are equally user-friendly, intuitive, and sleek as the rest of the site, don’t get me wrong, but it would be nice if they offered options for further filtering content. For instance, if I am on the MTV page, I would like to be able to easily browse by genre – reality TV shows, music shows, competition shows, etc. Instead, I have to browse through everything offered by MTV to find what I am in the mood for. I don’t see why the hubs aren’t further organized either, seeing as the main movies and TV pages do offer such a layout.
Content and Features
Paramount Plus offers about 30,000 TV shows and hundreds of movies. So, quantity certainly won’t be an issue with this movie streaming service. As I have already touched upon earlier, too, it appears as if much of the content here is high quality as well, thanks to a unique blend of original and syndicated content and exclusive releases on the horizon.
At the beginning of this review, I mentioned that we would delve further into some of the live TV features that Paramount Plus has to offer. If you are looking for the best movie streaming site for live TV, this might not be the one for you … however, you will, at the very least, have access to your local CBS live stream – just the primetime shows, though, local news and much of the daytime programming will not be aired here.
Where Paramount Plus makes up for this, though, is in its impressive live sports coverage. Unlike many other streaming services, Paramount Plus does not charge extra in exchange for access to live sports streaming. No matter what plan you choose, everybody can watch any games that are broadcast on CBS TV and the CBS Sports Network.
That means that subscribers can watch select NFL games (even the Super Bowl on the years that CBS broadcasts it), many NCAA March Madness games, college hockey, and Masters golf. If you are a soccer fan, fear not; Paramount Plus offers an impressive lineup of EUFA matches, as well as the National Women’s Soccer League. Paramount Plus probably won’t be the only streaming site you’ll need to have all of your sports needs met, but it will get you much closer than most other movie streaming sites on the market.
Mobile and Desktop Experience
It should come as no surprise whatsoever that Paramount Plus has mobile apps available for both Android and iOS devices. It may also come as no surprise that those apps are every bit as intuitive, user friendly, and effective as the desktop site. Having only been available on the Apple App Store for 1 full day, the Paramount Plus app already has over 171,000 ratings and an average user rating of 4.5 (out of 5).
Access Paramount Plus on literally any device, from Roku to Xbox and everything in between. In fact, it would be easier to tell you the devices on which Paramount is not compatible since there are only 3: LG Smart TVs, Nintendo Switch, and Wii.
Pricing and Plans
It is becoming increasingly common for the best movie streaming sites to offer 2 basic subscription tiers: one that includes ads and one that is ad-free. This is also the case for Paramount Plus. If you don’t mind putting up with ads before and after you stream movies, Paramount Plus will cost you $5.99/month. If you, like me, cannot stomach ads at all, the cost of the service is pretty average, $9.99/month. Regardless of which plan you choose, the first month is free (for now).