Marco Nobili, the head of Paramount+ international has underlined the streamer will continue investing in international projects despite a strong focus on producing major franchises such as Yellowstone, Star Trek and Dexter.
Paramount+, which launched in March 2021, is now streaming in 45 countries after a global roll-out last year and has 56 million subscribers.
Nobili said streaming is “a game that needs to be played at scale,” noting the bigger the scale, the more revenues are generated and the more that can be invested in infrastructure and programming.
“International is going to give us a lot of scale and capability to really play this game at a different level,” he added.
Speaking at the Paramount+ keynote at Series Mania this week, Nobili acknowledged many had asked if Paramount+ was launching too late in the streaming game but insisted it had seen “quite impressive” growth since then.
He said the streamer is looking to grow at annual rate of 8% for the next five years, and that half of its growth is from international markets.
Nobili highlighted Paramount+ had set out plans to greenlight 150 local originals by 2025. “We are way ahead of that plan,” said Nobili.
“When you see the demand that there is for local shows, it clearly proves the fact that we want to keep investing into that into space.”
Nobili talked up projects coming in the next 12 to 18 months, including a Sexy Beast prequel and an adaption of A Gentleman in Moscow, starring Ewan McGregor.
He also flagged UK-German co-production thriller The Chemistry Of Death, which is already on the platform, UK thriller The Blue from New Pictures and recent Australian hit Last King Of The Cross.
Korean sci-fi drama series Yonder, the first local production under Paramount Global’s partnership with Korean powerhouse CJ ENM, will launch globally on Paramount+, next month.
Nobili said Paramount+ was also focused on franchises to attract and retain subscribers, but said that “doesn’t mean taking away from originality.” He cited Yellowstone and its prequel series, 1883 and 1923. He suggested the decision to make prequels, rather than more traditional sequels, was a deliberate one.
“When you do a sequel of a show, your audience tends to reduce. But a prequel very often amps up the entire franchise because you can watch that prequel without having watched the original show that it stems from,” he explained. ”That requires originality, you have to build a story that can actually anticipate [the original show].”
Asked about the possible impact of a writers’ strike in the US, Nobili wouldn’t be drawn on its specific effect on Paramount beyond saying: “Our international content is and ready to step in and feed the service if we have less coming on the US side.”
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