Why Yellowstone, Paramount’s greatest present, would not stream on Paramount Plus

Kevin Costner stars in Yellowstone, which was the most-watched scripted present on cable TV final 12 months.  

Paramount Community

Yellowstone, the hit cowboy drama on Paramount Network, returned for its fourth season after greater than a 12 months hiatus. The double-episode premiere earlier this month revealed who survived final 12 months’s cliff-hanger finale — an episode that drew within the biggest audience of any scripted TV show on cable in 2020. For individuals aiming to atone for previous seasons or keep on prime of recent episodes as they hit, streaming service Paramount Plus would appear just like the pure place to show. However counterintuitively, the one TV present most related to the Paramount title is nowhere to be discovered on Paramount Plus

If you wish to binge Yellowstone‘s again catalog, it is advisable mosey over to Paramount Plus rival Peacock, which has an unique deal to be the one subscription streaming service with the primary three seasons. If you wish to stream Yellowstone’s new episodes, then you definately’ll must strive unlocking the Paramount Community app, not Paramount Plus. And after the fourth season concludes, that entire batch of recent Yellowstone episodes will transfer over to a subscription streaming service — however once more, it will be Peacock. 

As complicated as that’s, it is by design. Yellowstone is not the one high-profile ViacomCBS title lacking from Paramount Plus and streaming elsewhere: In the event you’re on the lookout for Comedy Central’s South Park, it is advisable try HBO Max, for instance. Content material licensing is an enormous enterprise for ViacomCBS, and so is the income generated by having successful present on a conventional cable community like Paramount Community. ViacomCBS positioned a wager that some top-shelf applications can earn more money — and attain extra eyeballs — in the event that they’re out there someplace aside from Paramount Plus, even when it means an enormous Paramount present like Yellowstone is not on Paramount Plus in any respect. 

Like the remainder within the parade of recent streaming providers, together with Disney Plus, HBO Max, Apple TV Plus, Peacock and Discovery Plus, Paramount Plus hopes its explicit concoction of TV and flicks will hook you by itself imaginative and prescient for TV’s future. However byzantine licensing offers like ViacomCBS’ for Yellowstone underscore that even when a brand new service like Paramount Plus launches by rallying round its personal content material, it would not essentially make it a lot simpler so that you can discover and watch your favourite exhibits and flicks on-line. 

The place you truly can stream Yellowstone

The primary distinction to know relating to the best way to stream Yellowstone is that Paramount Plus is completely different from Paramount Community, which is the place Yellowstone premiered its fourth season with two new episodes. 

On Paramount Plus, you possibly can’t stream Yellowstone — outdated episodes or new — in any respect. 

Paramount Community is a conventional cable channel out there to individuals who pay for it by means of a live-TV supplier. Paramount Community’s exhibits and flicks, together with the most recent episodes of Yellowstone, can be found to stream on the net at or its Paramount Community app. However typically these can be found to stream just for these people who find themselves paying for the channel already with a type of live-TV subscriptions, resembling cable, satellite tv for pc or a live-channel streaming service like YouTube TV or Philo

One exception: Paramount put the primary episode of Yellowstone’s fourth season outdoors its paywall, so anyone is ready to stream this episode — titled Half the Cash — free on Paramount Community’s app or web site. If you wish to watch the second episode of the fourth season, titled Phantom Ache, you will want to join a pay-TV subscription. (Philo, talked about above, is among the least expensive on-line choices to get entry to Paramount Community; it additionally provides a weeklong free trial.)

And if you wish to stream the the remainder of the episodes of Yellowstone’s fourth season as they air, the one place to stream them at first will probably be on Paramount Community’s channel, web site or app. And these Yellowstone episodes will probably be out there to stream just for “authenticated” on-line viewers — that’s, individuals who can log in with their live-TV service’s credentials to show they’re already paying for Paramount Community. 

If you wish to binge earlier seasons of Yellowstone, the Paramount Community app and web site have these too.

However for those who’re a cord-cutter or in any other case haven’t got entry to Paramount Community, then it is advisable go to Peacock to stream the primary three seasons. The fourth season will stream on Peacock ultimately too. Peacock hasn’t introduced the timing that it’s going to start streaming Yellowstone’s fourth season but, however you possibly can anticipate it will likely be someday after the season finale concludes on Paramount Community. 

So what does Paramount Plus even have associated to Yellowstone? Finally, spinoffs. On Dec. 19, Paramount Plus will start streaming a prequel titled 1883, which focuses on the Dutton household greater than a century in the past as they transfer west and set up the Yellowstone Ranch. And on Nov. 14, Paramount Plus will premiere Mayor of Kingstown, a drama collection co-created by Yellowstone’s creator Taylor Sheridan; whereas Mayor of Kingstown is not straight tied to Yellowstone, Paramount Plus is pitching it as a little bit of a religious spinoff. 

Why you cannot watch Yellowstone on Paramount Plus

Each new streaming service launching out of Hollywood makes its personal judgment about how a lot, and what, to maintain for itself. Some streaming providers have been aggressive getting their titles again to their very own providers. 

Disney has been agency in letting its offers expire in the event that they license out its exhibits and flicks to different providers. That included a serious deal that allow Netflix stream Disney’s theatrical motion pictures for an estimated $200 million to $300 million a 12 months over 4 years. However Disney Plus wished to turn into a dependable hub for its personal again catalog, so Disney let that Netflix deal run out and stopped buying these blockbusters to rival providers.

NBCUniversal, along with licensing Yellowstone for its Peacock service, gained the rights to its personal present The Workplace again from Netflix at the start of this 12 months so Peacock may stream the sitcom solely. 

And WarnerMedia’s HBO Max has repeatedly clawed again rights to all eight Harry Potter motion pictures from NBCUniversal and Peacock. WarnerMedia’s Warner Bros. licensed all these motion pictures to NBCUniversal years ago in an epic deal. That put NBCUniversal’s Peacock in line to stream them moderately than HBO Max. However WarnerMedia has sometimes snagged them again, giving it alternatives to spice up HBO Max with a well-liked franchise. 

Paramount Plus, nevertheless, hasn’t been as aggressive, neither in maintaining its prime properties inside its personal fold nor reclaiming ones it is licensed elsewhere. 

A part of the reason being that licensing out titles generally is a profitable enterprise. Thus far this 12 months, ViacomCBS made $4.6 billion from licensing, virtually 1 / 4 of the corporate’s complete income. That cash comes from an array of licenses, from TV syndication to Paw Patrol stuffed animals and costumes. However farming out titles like Yellowstone, South Park and others to Paramount Plus’ direct rivals is a part of it too. If you grant your personal programming to your personal service solely, you forsake piles of that cash you possibly can’ve hauled in for those who’d licensed it to another person. 

And ViacomCBS has an enormous again catalog to faucet into: roughly 140,000 TV episodes and 4,000 movies. The corporate would not need all that on Paramount Plus. 

“We will not preserve all that for ourself. It would not make sense,” CEO Bob Bakish mentioned a 12 months in the past, as Paramount Plus was making ready for launch. “It is an excessive amount of.”

Bakish has repeatedly mentioned the corporate’s technique is “evolving” by way of how a lot of its personal programming it ought to license and the way a lot it ought to preserve for itself, sounding the identical chorus Thursday. The corporate’s licensing technique has “shifted to turn into rather more centered” on having its personal franchises by itself streaming service, he mentioned. However the “legacy offers” the corporate struck earlier than the launch of Paramount Plus can have an extended tail, he added. 

Nonetheless, past the cash ViacomCBS makes by licensing, Paramount Plus additionally believes it could possibly draw in additional new members if it lets different, greater providers have a few of its titles to stream. Bakish has famous that different platforms can increase the viewers for an older present in order that its reboots and spinoffs have a much bigger fan base for Paramount Plus. 

It is a perverse form of logic. However Netflix has greater than 213 million subscribers worldwide, whereas Paramount Plus has fewer — most likely far fewer — than 47 million. ViacomCBS is betting that renting the again catalog of Nickelodeon’s iCarly to Netflix might assist spark a wider fandom, which in flip could also be interested in Paramount Plus for its unique reboot of the collection. Curiosity in Avatar: The Final Airbender surged final 12 months when the present hit Netflix, definitely serving to encourage ViacomCBS’ choice to launch a whole new studio dedicated to fresh Avatar-related programming. 

However that technique additionally implies that when the Yellowstone prequel 1883 arrives on Paramount Plus in December, chronicling the Dutton household’s arrival in Montana greater than a century in the past, the unacquainted might want to go elsewhere to determine who the Duttons even are. 

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