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

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Updated: August 5th, 2022 at 07:22 am

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.

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John Finn

By John Finn

John started Streaming Better 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@streamingbetter.com or on Twitter

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

When I purchased Paramount + to stream, just a few months ago, Yellowstone show was advertised as being on the Paramount + lineup (able to stream/binge). After my app purchase, it’s just on Paramount and removed from the +. Talk about bait and switch….
Regular Paramount requires a cable / live tv to connect to the app. Well, Comcast Xfinity does not carry Paramount (or it’s not an option).

Yellowstone is Yellowgone from Paramount PLUS

Not all seasons. Can’t get season 4. Talk about ripoff. I pay for paramount plus.
Should be able to watch both with buying more apps.

Season 4 of yellowstone is supposed to begin in march of 2022 , i also got paramount plus for it but instead i ll watch 1883 and then cancel it and wait for peacock to air it , just hope the 6666 ranch also ends up on peacock which is a series in conjuction to 1883 and yellowstone

The last episode 1-4 is not on Paramount Plus. They want you to upgrade in order to watch. Another person said “Switch and Bait” is exactly what these apps/channels are doing. It would be nice if they would let us know before hand if the whole series are on ONE app./channel before we start watch the series.

I want to deactivate my subscription I wanted to watch Yellowstone and can’t I wish I would have never subscribed!

I don’t believe that Paramount plus can be streamed on a Sony Bravia (considered an android) but is on a Sony Viizio even a 2018 new Master series 65 inch and very expensive
My cable provider needs to know this information to relay to their customers

Yes you can, watching at this moment on my Sony Bravia circa 2018/19. Verizon Fios previous via Spectrum internet only with no cable subscription.

Yes, we bought a “smart” tv and it wasn’t compatible with our cable company.
Who would have thought to ask that?

We’ll I just paid 39.99 they say one time Purchase but they don’t say you have to pay extra for Paramont plus to get other channels it’s a rip off.

Using Spectrum as my TV channel provider I was only allowed the first two episodes 1883 on Paramount I was able to watch the rest of the first season on Parmount+.

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.

Can I watch Yellowstone season 4 paramount without all the awful commercials have ATandT awful direct stream every 45 seconds commercial on paramount

When talking about an app for Paramount plus, are we talkin about the TV? Do you get more off the TV then you do off of your computer? I am totally confused.

I have access to both Paramount Network and Paramount Plus Streaming. But discovered I Can only record programs on Paramount Network via Directv. Can’t record programs like “1883” on Paramount Plus, or “Welcome To Earth” over on Disney Plus. Both of which are Streaming Networks.

I just fast forwarded on dish TV guide on my tv to the 19th and 1883 was there and it allowed me to record it.

I was under the impression it was only on paramount plus.

Are they just trying to suck more money out of us?

Maggie: I am a DirecTV subscriber and tried the same thing as you- looked for 1883 on Paramount (241 PARHD). And I found it! Thanks for your message here! I set up the series manager to record the series and there are two now in the upcoming recordings list.

I think (hope) this is part of the cross-over between the two ‘channels’.

Yes…I have just Paramount Network too and I forwarded to next week Dec 26 and it’s on that day too! It says Episode 2 (new).

Hello folks! I am really confused. I have direcTV streaming. I do not have cable access. Which should I order? Thank you.

I have Direct Tv, which includes the series “Yellowstone” which I get on
channel 241; how do I subscribe to watch the upcoming series 6666
on Direct TV? 

Please anyone that is having this same issue let me know if it is possible to stream Paramount Plus on a Sony Bravia.
I have 2 one very new

I have a Sony Bravia X90j 75″ and a able to stream Paramount Plus with
with an Amazon Firestick 4k device with no problems at all

Can I watch 1883 if I get a Paramount $4.99 subscription? I’m on a 30day trial right now and have to decide by Jan 21, 2022. Thank you.

I think this whole streaming business is all bull crap. Just another way to make us spend money and jump thru hoops chasing that carrot. Stupidity at its finest. Leave well enough alone. Or make it easy and streamline it. Why must we purchase a this service for this show, then change for this show after a month, then to thos one. Dang put it ALL STREAMLINED , STREAMING ON ONE APP. SIMPLE.. WHY SO COMPLICATED AND EXPENSIVE…..

Is any tv show really worth all this, I am so confused, just going to purchase the season . Cheaper than going to the movies

Well this is annoying… I bought into the whole thing because I do not have time to sit and watch shows at there regularly scheduled time and who wants to deal with scheduling DVRs… so I’m watching my FBI shows (all three) and all of a sudden episode ten of all three shows different seasons I have to pay for episodes???? WTH I already pay for the streaming services monthly!!!! This is free TV that s how’s weekly!!! So now I’m being punished for not doing cable and paying for there streaming service!!! What gives ?

It’s all bs. Dish to expensive but easy. Losing channel 8 a problem especially if Super Bowl and nascar fan. Streaming all to confusing with channels you will never use, platforms and who to go with. Only a matter of time till they jack prices due to popularity of streaming. What’s one to do.

Paramount went fishing by putting 1883 on three segments. Now they want be to stream on line and buy the next two episodes with Paramount +. By By Channel paramount keep your 1883 4 & 5 segments on Paramount+. Sorry your not pulling me into your net. Rather not watch the rest of the segments.

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