Do we really need any more streaming services?

Last week, I caved into the hype surrounding the new streaming service Paramount+ and started a free trial. Now, after missing the cancellation deadline, I am stuck paying for the service for the next month without much left to watch.

I’ll elaborate: it’s not that Paramount+ is bad, or even a waste of money, (for $9.99 you can get the service commercial-free, and for $4.99 you can suffer through ads) but the service is just so… regular. There is very little in the way of original content on the platform, so for the time being, it essentially works as a collection of old shows from my childhood. Granted, it had been forever since I’d seen some of these childhood classics like “Ren and Stimpy” or “Reno 911!”

After a short binge session of old comedies, I ventured into some of the darker, or more unfinished corners of the app. While not wholly offensive, the visual layout of the app leaves some to be desired; the menus feel clunky and barren, and the live TV function was wholly unusable in my experience.

The best argument in favor of the existence of Paramount+ in my opinion is the access to content that is not available elsewhere, such as “Spongebob Squarepants” and the rest of the Nicktoons suite. However, much like Disney Plus and its reliance on previously aired children’s programs, Paramount+ gets stale before you really even sink into the couch.

It got me thinking, how many streaming apps are enough? Is there such a thing as too many? It’s not like the average person is watching more than one show at the same time anyway. 

With TV networks opting to take much of their content off of the last generation of streaming giants, such as Netflix, consumers are stuck not knowing what program they previously had full access to is now essential. Inevitably, some other major network will launch their own app, charge a monthly subscription, (and maybe still include ads) and force consumers to jump from app to app to find the show of their choice. It sounds a little like… basic cable?

Maybe that’s underselling the whole experience, maybe some people like spending more time searching through menus than watching an entire docuseries. To each their own. But from my own experience, I can’t say the model that Paramount+ is following is entirely positive for the streaming world.

Since I do have the subscription for another month, (thanks Apple Pay) there is a chance that Paramount+ will redeem itself in my mind. With such a low paywall, even a single good exclusive film is enough to justify a month’s expenses. But I still can’t say for sure that the app is a necessary addition for anyone but the diehard Nickelodeon or MTV fan.

Photo Credit: Paramount

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