Paramount Plus will introduce a new ad-supported plan Monday that costs just $5 a month — half the price of the more premium plan.
The main difference between what the service calls its “essential” plan and the more expensive commercial-free plan — besides the addition of ads — is some missing content. The $10 commercial-free subscription includes both local and national news coverage with CBSN and CBS live, while the new Essential subscription includes only national news with CBSN. There’s also more sports coverage on the commercial-free plan, and premium users get support for offline downloads as well.
Both subscriptions provide access to tens of thousands of TV episodes and movies, as well as the platform’s originals, but premium-tier subscribers will only see ads on live TV shows and a handful of series. Note that the new budget plan — which will replace an existing limited-commercial tier — does not include a user’s local live CBS channel that is also included in the limited-commercial experience, a service spokesperson confirmed to The edge.
As announced when the service officially launched in March, the new tier replaces an older $6 option that was carried over when the service changed from CBS All Access. The ad-free plan normally costs $10 per month, but the company offered a limited commercial programming option for $6 per month. Although those currently on the $6 plan can stay at that level if they wish.
If you’re a current subscriber to an existing $6 plan that grandfathered into CBS All Access, you might want to stick with the slightly more expensive plan you currently have — at least if local coverage is important to you. In addition, if a limited commercial subscriber signs up for the new $5 plan, they will not be able to revert their plan back to the $6 tier after June 7.
In other words, if you’re considering a Paramount Plus subscription and want local news coverage included in your ad-supported experience, now’s the time to subscribe. If limited advertising is less important to you than shaving a dollar off your streaming tab every month, keep an eye out for the new plan on launch day on June 7.