So, the results are finally in. Paramount Plus, ViacomCBS' rebrand of the CBS All Access streaming service has been reviewed by critics and, well... it looks like Disney Plus doesn't have much too worry about, and especially so after it also just schooled Netflix.
Upon reviewing the service TechRadar (opens in new tab), for example, gave Paramount Plus a score of only 2.5 out of 5, and said that "it lacks great new originals" while calling out how there was "no watchlist option", that "4K and offline downloads [were] only for premium users" and that there was "no must-see new exclusive content".
Meanwhile, Tom's Guide (opens in new tab) says in its unscored review that "Paramount Plus is a service without a big hit" and that it has "no must-see originals yet" and that there are "gaps in TV and movie libraries".
These reviewers are calling out exactly why Paramount Plus has failed to usurp the current streaming king that is Disney Plus. Unlike Disney+, Paramount+ doesn't have any new original content, doesn't have streaming service basics like a watchlist, doesn't have complete libraries of content, and doesn't even let all its users watch in 4K, with only premium users getting the Ultra HD goodness – an unwelcome practice picked up from Netflix.
Disney Plus, on the other hand, has a flat subscription price for all users and lets all users enjoy 4K HDR content with Dolby Atmos audio. It also has complete libraries of content from Disney, Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars, Star, The Simpsons and National Geographic. And that is saying nothing of its best-in-class original content offering, which just over the past 6 months alone has included mega-hits such as Frozen 2, Hamilton, Onward, Soul, WandaVision, Mulan, The Mandalorian Season 2 and Raya and the Last Dragon.
As T3 notes in its Disney Plus review, for one low fee Disney+ delivers everything a streaming service should do, including a simple watchlist.
Now, of course, we are still in the early days of Paramount Plus, and there is definitely scope for it to get better. But truth be told, if it doesn't get better soon then it is going to be left firmly on the shelf by people in my opinion, as users are already served by not just one awesome rival in Disney Plus, but two others as well, with Paramount Plus having to compete against Netflix and Amazon Prime Video also.
With so many streaming services now available, only the very best will survive. Only the streaming services that offer a top-class user experience will win the money in people's wallets. And, right now, it looks like Paramount Plus is not offering that top-class user experience. Here's hoping we see big improvements quickly.