CJ ENM is best known as the Seoul-based distributor of the remarkable Oscar winner, Parasite. Now, it seems, they’re also part of ViacomCBS’s strategy to make their Asian debut. Entertainment attorney from Blake & Wang P.A, Brandon Blake, has some further analysis for us.
The two entities have, this week, signed a content partnership agreement, which will be the first entry into the Asian market for Paramount+. This content deal will cover a chunk of entertainment as well. Think original films and series, content licensing, and distribution over both streaming services. This means Paramount+ is scheduled for a 2022 entry into South Korea, bundled with TVING, CJ ENM’s existing streaming service.
It’s no secret that the domestic streaming market has slowed, and many suspect we’re near saturation for subscription numbers. ViacomCBS wouldn’t be the only service to look for growth outside the U.S for next year. It appears they’re opting for solid partnerships to help bolster their bottom line, rather than independent outreach.
South Korean Boom
South Korea makes for an appealing market, too. It’s the fourth-largest economy in Asia, and is having something of a rebrand as a global entertainment hub. It’s packed with vibrant pop culture of its own that also resonates in the West, from film to TV to music and beyond. 2 Oscar winners and a viral hit TV series have sprung from South Korea recently. There’s definitely worse choices to make.
ViacomCBS have also paired with Comcast to take SkyShowtime to Europe next year, as well, leveraging Paramount+, Nickelodeon, and Sky’s pulling power to give them some substance against larger streamers. Here they are headed to smaller EU markets. Sky will, however, distribute some of the streaming services of Paramount+ in larger EU markets, too.
Overall, they plan to get Paramount+ into 45 new markets by the end of next year. South Korea could well prove to be the most important of those. We will keep an eye on further developments.