We tried Paramount+ for a week: do we zap or watch?
On December 1, 2022, Paramount +, a new SVOD service, landed in France to come and rub shoulders with Netflix, Disney + and others. We tried it for a week. Do we zap or do we mate?
The video streaming landscape is expanding with the arrival of a new service in France, Paramount+. Offered at a single price of 7.99 euros per month, this new player relies on the quality of productions from Paramount studios but also from channels such as Showtime.
Since Paramount+ includes a one-week trial, we explored it during this time. So, do we zap or do we mate?
Strengths of Paramount+
Everything about the Paramount+ experience is designed to make life easier. From subscription to daily use, the service is accessible.
To subscribe, there are not thirty-six solutions: either you subscribe with your smartphone from the application, or on the Paramount+ site from any browser, or you add the option in the application MyCanal or in your ISP's offer. If you already have a Canal+ subscription with the biggest Ciné pack, Paramount+ is available for free.
The offer is also extremely clear: Paramount+ is offered at a single price of 7 €.99/month. Basic, simple.
From the first use, you are struck by the minimalism of the interface. All featured content is arranged in tiles categorized. Thus, it is easy to find the original content of the platform, Showtime productions, original series, Paramount films as well as a classification by category.
If the graphic charter is very clear, this is done to the detriment of ergonomics. But we will come back to this later.
The quality of films and series
Paramount being Paramount, the catalog of films and series is undoubtedly among the most qualitative of the moment. Paramount studios have always been good at financing films and series that have become legendary. For example, the catalog contains the entire Star Trek universe, a great classic of science fiction cinema, the Indiana Jones saga or even the complete Godfather , which needs no introduction.
Above all, Paramount+ has been enriched with original creations such as The Offer (which also tells the story of the creation of the film The Godfather), 1883 or Tulsa King (the first series with Sylvester Stallone) to name a few.
We also find nuggets from Showtime, a studio known for its avant-garde and/or committed programs. Among the best-known series offered by Showtime are for example Dexter, Billions, Ray Donovan, Nurse Jackie, The L Wordor the unmissable Californication.
Finally, Paramount+ also includes content from the MTV music channel. The service therefore leaves plenty of room for documentaries on music legends, legendary concerts or stories around this art.
On Paramount+ you can therefore see or re-watch great cinema classics or discover successful original productions. Like Apple TV+, Paramount+ is therefore distinguished by quality, more than by quantity.
The weaknesses of Paramount+
The catalog is too short
And yes, you can't have it all. If the Paramount+ catalog stands out for its quality, the volume of content offered is a fair bit to be able to compete with platforms like Netflix or Prime Video.
Certainly, this has the advantage of not wasting too much time with disappointing programs or unpleasant surprises. However, lack of variety (especially if you've already seen Paramount classics) is never good for an SVOD platform.
If you're one of the binge-watchers, you will have quickly made the rounds of Paramount+. As we write these lines, let's say that in six months, you will probably have browsed a good part of the catalog of interesting films and series.
< h3>The interface to review
Another big piece to rework, the interface. If minimalism allows a simple and clear reading of the catalog,navigating inside the platform sometimes turns into a headache.
Obviously, Paramount+ did not bother to develop an advanced recommendation algorithm. This might seem interesting to discover other works than those to which you are usually sensitive. But the suggestions often revolve around the same films and series.
These suggestions are surprising. Sometimes a work is proposed, but then it is impossible to find it in the categories or in the “Search” section. We come to wonder if our memory is failing us. We therefore took the reflex to systematically add a film or series to our personalized list so as not to lose it in the depths of the platform.
Another problem: bugs.Paramount+ is able to pick up a series where we left off, but not with all series. We tried to understand why this tracking worked with some series and not others, to find commonalities. In reality, it's a bit of a lottery.
Finally, Paramount+ has never been able to tell us when an episode or movie has already been viewed.There is also no “Already seen” section. or “If you want to see it again”. Nothing. Paramount+ relies on our memory when other services do this work for us.
It may seem lazy, but who hasn't ever fallen asleep watching a show, letting the episodes roll by? In this case, you will have to lose some time to find where you left off.
All these ergonomic flaws are the real downside of Paramount+, which is not a brand new service either. If it has just landed in France, it has already existed for several months in the United States. Come on, a little effort.
Our opinion on Paramount+
Despite ergonomics to be reviewed and a somewhat poor catalog, our experience on Paramount+ has proven to be rather convincing.
The clean, minimalist interface makes for a pleasant experience despite bugs and other design flaws. Above all, the platform stands out for the quality of its content.
The number of enticing productions is such that you don't really know where to start. On the other hand, we know that the pleasure will stop quite quickly, the fault of a catalog that is a little tight.
So should we be tempted by Paramount+ ? If you are looking for quality programs, you will necessarily find your account there, at least for the first six months.
On the other hand, you will have to accept a lower image quality compared to a Disney+ for example and sometimes complex navigation in the interface. It's up to you to see if these weaknesses are still acceptable for €7.99/month.