Paramount+ boss pledges continued investment in international projects

Marco Nobili pledges that focus on US franchises won’t curb appetite for global hits

By 24 Mar 2023

Paramount+ boss pledges continued investment in international projects
Marco Nobili. Cr: Paramount Global

Paramount+ international will continue to invest in international projects despite a strong focus on producing major franchises like Yellowstone, Star Trek and Dexter, boss Marco Nobili has assured the market.

Speaking at Series Mania yesterday, Nobili said streaming is “a game that needs to be played at scale,” noting that 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 said.

Nobili acknowledged that many had asked if Paramount+ was launching too late in the streaming game but insisted that it had seen “quite impressive” growth since then.

Launched two years ago and rolled out globally last year, Paramount+ now has 56 million subscribers in 45 territories.

Noibili said the streamer is looking to grow at annual rate of 8% for the next five years, half of it from international markets, adding that Paramount+ is “way ahead” of plans to greenlight 150 local originals by 2025.

“When you see the demand that there is for local shows, it clearly proves that we want to keep investing into that space.”

Nobili talked up projects coming in the next 12 to 18 months, including a Sexy Beast prequel and an adaption of Amor Towles’ novel A Gentleman in Moscow starring Ewan McGregor.

The Paramount+ executive vice president and international general manager also flagged UK/German co-production thriller The Chemistry of Death, which is already on the platform, New Pictures’ thriller The Blue and recent Australian hit Last King Of The Cross.

Other international commissions have included 42’s comedy-drama The Flatshare, and  Korean sci-fi drama series Yonder, the first local production under Paramount Global’s partnership with Korean powerhouse CJ ENM that launches globally on Paramount+ next month.

Nobili said Paramount+ was focused on franchises to attract and retain subscribers, but said that “doesn’t mean taking away from originality.”

Citing Yellowstone, he suggested that there had been a deliberate choice to make prequels 1883 and 1923 rather than more traditional sequels.

“When you do a sequel, your audience tends to reduce,” he said. “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. That requires originality - you have to build a story that can actually anticipate [the original show].”

Nobili wouldn’t be drawn on the specific effect of a US writers’ strike 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.”

This story originally appeared on our sister site, Broadcast.

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