Will Paramount's New Digital Directives Value Content Over Art?

Paramount+
Streaming is changing the way studios greenlight movies. 

A restructure at Paramount is afoot. Jim Gianopulos will be leaving Paramount as chairman and CEO, replaced by Brian Robbins, who comes over from Nickelodeon and who was previously at AwesomenessTV. The Wall Street Journal first reported the change in leadership. 

This switch is supposed to help Paramount reprioritize its streaming service, Paramount+. That means the new goal will be to change the way the studio sees titles and what they can do. It also means you will probably get simultaneous releases between digital and theatrical, as well as a shift toward streaming in general. 

“We’ll definitely play pitch and catch between linear and streaming,” Robbins said, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. 

Various sources have told THR that the belief is Robbins will focus more on mid-budget titles instead of tentpoles, and reboot and remake popular Paramount titles that can drive series or stories meant to stream at home. 

This marks a real change in why people would make things with Paramount. It's safe to say the studio won't be tackling a lot of art films, but instead making sure they have new titles able to premiere on their streamer. The listed goal is to get Paramount+ to 65-75 million subscribers by 2024. Right now, they're hovering at 42 million. In order to get more, they need to have a ton of enticing titles that draw viewers in. 

While many have decried this as the death of art, I think we're wrong about where Paramount was going to spend its budget anyway. It's not like they've become the bastion of new voices over the last few years.

Sure, they had A Quiet Place, but they also did Sonic and What Men Want. They've prioritized tentpoles and remakes. It's safe to say this is a shift away from Transformers and toward mid-budget titles that can attract stars but have smaller budgets. These movies represent a smaller risk, and the importance of brand-new thumbnails with recognizable faces they can post to their platform. 

It'll be interesting to see how this shakes out. While places like Netflix are usually taking swings at awards while also creating products, studios haven't quite figured out how to straddle both just yet. There's a lot of catch-up to be played. The bright side is, they will need movies and TV shows to fill these spaces. You have ideas, so hopefully, this leads to a glut in hiring creatives who can make art in any circumstances. 

Let us know what you think in the comments.     

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