Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Good news, Roku partisans: Paramount Plus is now yours for the streaming

Roku!
Roku!
Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Good news for Roku users (or, at least, Roku users desperate to get a taste of those delicious Real Criminal Minds): The streaming hardware company has announced that, for once, you’re not going to have to wait around for months for licensing deals to get nailed down in order to have access to the vast bounty of content (?) available from brand-new-but-also-kind-of-brand-old streaming service Paramount Plus on the company’s boxes. Rather, the re-branded CBS All Access will be available on the first day of its availability, and also for many negative first days before that because, again, this is pretty much just the old CBS All Access with a bunch of new labels stuck everywhere.

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Anyway: It’s good news regardless, given how often the mostly-convenient streaming hardware firm gets into fights with the major streamers over whether or not it’ll be carrying their content. The arguments over Roku carriage, unsurprisingly, almost always come down to cash: The company’s basic tenet is that, since its hardware allows streamers to more effectively hook in consumers—typically to services that provide said streamers either with subscription income, or ad revenue—that it deserves a cut of those profits. This was a persistent sticking point with NBCUniversal’s Peacock, for instance, because Peacock operates off of a proprietary ad-serving model, and NBC wasn’t interested in ceding any of its ad load to a third-party, no matter how useful its boxes are. (They eventually got it together in September of last year.) HBO Max was similarly slow to get on board, although those issues were finally smoothed out back in December.

Paramount Plus, meanwhile, is presumably piggy-backing off the deals already in place for CBS All Access, a process that presumably involved everyone involved doing a quick find and replace to swap the new name in for the old on the existing contracts. Still, though, it’s good news if you want to watch Real World, or SpongeBob, or simply want to continue to play the absurd game of streaming service Pokémon we’re all now trapped in, and are desperate to have one easy place to catch ’em all.