Today, Viacom announced that it is adding 18 “live” channels to its streaming service, Paramount+.  These themed “live” channels will run 24 hours a day and will include a curated list of popular shows and movies from across its brands, including CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, BET and the Smithsonian Channel, as well as from other sources.   Viacom has previously introduced a similar feature onto its PlutoTV and found success with it.

These channels, will basically, replicate traditional television, where someone can just flip through the channels to see if there is something on or just sit back and be entertained.  This could be extremely useful for parents or for those who just like having the app on in the background with something one.  It’s important to note that these “live” channels aren’t the same ones that you’d find on cable television.  They will also be adding more channels at a later date.

Tom Ryan, founder of Pluto TV, said in a statement about the new feature:


“Even in the era of on-demand, there is clearly a strong consumer appetite for reimagined linear channels that provide effortless, lean-back entertainment.  Inspired and informed by the winning model Pluto TV pioneered and popularized, these highly curated channels underscore the power of our unified streaming organization and serve as a product differentiator in the SVOD space, by offering subscribers yet another way to experience and discover programming on Paramount Plus.”

Here are a few highlights of the new “live” channels being introduced onto Paramount+:

  • Kids & Family Fun
  • Star Trek
  • Preschool Corner
  • TV Classics
  • Survivor
  • History & Uncovered
  • And Many More

Over the past couple of years, there have been many requests from Disney+ subscribers for something similar.  Because often, some people just don’t like having to bother to stroll through the endless menus of content to find something to watch.  So offering a live stream of some of the most popular content could be a way of Disney+ offering a more traditional feature.

Before the launch of Disney+, the company had another streaming service in the UK called, “DisneyLife”, which offered live streaming of the Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD.   So it’s not something entirely new for Disney streaming services.

Netflix also has a similar feature: the “Play Something” button randomly shows something from Netflix, removing the need to choose something to watch.

Currently, Viacom isn’t planning to include advertising on these “live” channels, but Paramount+ has two tiers, one with ads and another without ads.  So should these “live” channels prove popular, this could be an additional revenue stream.

Disney could also implement these live channels into Disney+, though they might want to avoid naming them similar to their cable TV counterparts.

There are many options they could use, such as:

  • DCOMs
  • Marvel
  • Star Wars
  • National Geographic
  • Nat Geo Wild
  • Disney Junior
  • Disney Channels
  • Documentaries
  • Originals

Hopefully, Disney will also take a good look at these new “live” channels on Paramount+ and possibly bring this new feature over to Disney+.  It’s another excellent way of bringing enjoying Disney+ entertainment.  It might not be for everyone, but I’m sure plenty of people would use this feature, should it be introduced.

Would you like to see “live” channels available within Disney+?

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Twitter: Facebook:

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