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Paramount Plus to cost $10 ad-free, to launch $5 tier with ads in June

Paramount Plus will replace CBS All Access, and current CBS All Access subscribers will automatically qualify for the comparable plan on Paramount Plus.

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Paramount Plus, a new streaming service replacing CBS All Access next week, will cost $10 a month to stream ad free on a premium tier when it launches March 4, and it will add a cheaper, $5-a-month "base" tier in June that is supported by advertising. 

That cheaper tier marks a $1 discount to CBS All Access' entry-level price, but this base tier will no longer have the live stream of CBS' broadcast network, among other tweaks. People who already have CBS All Access automatically qualify to transfer to the comparable tier of Paramount Plus. Currently, CBS All Access costs $6 a month or $60 annually for its tier with advertising, or $10 a month or $100 annually to go ad-free -- though it's offering a year of the service at half price right now, which will carry over to Paramount Plus. 

The Paramount Plus premium tier will include the breadth of everything on Paramount Plus, including live streams of the CBS Network and local channels. Even though this is the ad-free tier, some advertising will persist in the live channels. 

The base tier includes ads during the shows and movies you watch on demand, and it will limit how much programming you can watch. For example, a base tier subscriber will be able to watch NFL games but won't be able to see all of Paramount Plus' live sports. The base tier will have all Paramount Plus originals, but it won't be able to access every title in the catalog. 

The news was announced during an investor event on Wednesday, which mostly focused on a dizzying slate of programming that ViacomCBS hopes will draw in new subscribers, even as customers' choices in streaming have exploded in the last year and a half. 

Paramount Plus marks yet another new video service to roll out, like Disney PlusHBO MaxApple TV PlusPeacockDiscovery Plus and others that came before it. Like them, Paramount Plus hopes its particular concoction of TV shows, movies and originals will hook you on its vision for TV's future. But these so-called streaming wars also complicate how many services you use -- and pay for -- to watch your favorite shows and movies online. 

Paramount Plus's new pricing compares with Netflix's cheapest tier at $9 a month and its most popular plan is at $14. Apple TV Plus is $5 a month, Disney Plus is $7 a month (going to $8 next month), and HBO Max is $15 a month. All of those services are ad-free.

Among competitors that have ad-supported options, Hulu is $6 a month with ads and $12 a month ad-free. Peacock has a free, limited tier with ads, but you can pay to unlock its full catalog. Those paid, premium Peacock memberships are $5 a month with advertising, or you can upgrade to an ad-free version for $10 a month.

Paramount Plus will launch in the US and Latin America on March 4.  

Check CNET's full coverage of the Paramount Plus. 

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