Why ‘Yellowstone’-Style Licensing Deals on Third-Party Streaming Services Are Likely Done at Paramount

by Lauren Boisvert
why-yellowstone-style-licensing-deals-third-party-streaming-services-are-likely-done-paramount

Back in the days before Paramount had its own streaming service in Paramount+, the network was setting up licensing deals to streaming services left and right. Namely, the rights to stream “Yellowstone” went to Peacock. Then, when Paramount+ launched, “Yellowstone” was nowhere in sight, because Peacock had it. Now, it looks like those days of lending out their shows are over for Paramount.

Paramount CFO Naveen Chopra spoke recently at MoffettNathanson’s Media and Communications Summit, per Deadline. There, he stated that “We’re no longer licensing big, franchise IP to third parties. Back in the day when Paramount didn’t have its own streaming service, that was the best way to monetize content. Today, that doesn’t necessarily make sense. As some of those things come up, we’ll keep them for our owned and operated platform.”

Chopra also stated that Paramount is going to stop producing content for its rival networks altogether. “The reality is, that’s a pretty low-margin business anyway,” said Chopra. “It doesn’t make sense strategically to enable our competitors with that content.”

So, it looks like Paramount is shifting towards keeping its originals, like “Yellowstone,” close at hand. “Yellowstone” is a record-breaking show ratings-wise, after it took a little bit to latch onto the casual viewer. Now, it’s Paramount’s biggest draw, and they’re capitalizing on Taylor Sheridan‘s talent. He’s probably the busiest guy in the world right now, what with all the shows he’s writing, directing, producing, or some combination of the three.

Paramount Plans ‘Super Franchises’ in the Wake of ‘Yellowstone’s Success

Paramount is not only planning to keep its current shows close to the vest, but the network also has plans for future licensing deals as well. It’s looking into launching what it’s calling “super franchises,” as in multiple series in the same universe, at least somewhat connected. In Taylor Sheridan terms, this is “Yellowstone,” “1883,” “6666,” and the new “1932.”

Paramount ad sales chief Jo Ann Ross spoke to The Hollywood Reporter recently about the future of Paramount series. “We are looking at more opportunities down the road where you can buy across the board,” said Ross. “And that is what we have done with ‘Yellowstone’; and I assume we will do something similar with the Taylor Sheridan universe, as we continue to get into business with him, and we are looking at other opportunities across our business as well.”

The network and subsequent streaming service is looking to extend “Yellowstone” to multiple platforms, it seems, while still keeping it under the Paramount umbrella. It will stay Paramount’s, but be available for other networks to purchase and stream on their platforms. Ross continued, “Because we own the [‘Yellowstone’] IP along with Taylor, we are able to do a lot with it […] and have the images be ingrained in the programming.”

Outsider.com