Paramount Plus Essential: everything you need to know about the $5.99 per month plan

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If you've been considering signing up for Paramount Plus, then your first port of call is likely the Essential plan, which is the most affordable tier you can sign up for in the US.

The Paramount Plus Essential plan offers the full catalog of 30,000 movies and shows that the Premium plan has, and costs a lot less too. You miss out on live TV streaming, and have to put up with ads, which is why it costs less.

If you subscribe to Paramount Plus Essential, you even get access to live sports, including some regional NFL games on Paramount Plus, making it a great option for fans looking to save money.

We've dived into what separates Paramount Plus Essential from the Paramount Plus Premium plan below.

How much does Paramount Plus Essential cost?

Paramount Plus Essential is the cheaper of the subscription options, available for a monthly fee of $5.99. 

Comparatively, Paramount Plus Premium goes for $11.99 per month, and that's the tier with Showtime included.

What's different about the Paramount Plus Essential plan?

The first big difference between Paramount Plus Essential and the Premium option is that the latter includes all of Showtime's content as well, with lots of hit TV shows included in the package that you won't get on Essential.

Another important discrepency is that Essential comes with "limited commercial interruptions," whereas Premium is commercial-free. That basically means that you get ad-free streaming if you pay more.

Another thing that separates the two subscriptions is that Essential subscribers do not have access to a live stream of their local CBS station, so they can not watch CBS shows like NCIS, Ghosts, Young Sheldon or Blue Bloods when they air live and have to wait until they are available on-demand the next day.

However, this does not apply to NFL and UEFA Champions League games, as games that air on subscribers' local CBS stations are available on their own live streaming feeds

Another difference is that you won't be able to download shows and movies for offline viewing. (That's also in line with the ad-supported plan for HBO Max.)

What if you had the $5.99 Paramount Plus plan before?

Some Paramount Plus subscribers signed up for what was known as the Limited Commercials plan that cost $5.99 per month. This plan has been discontinued, though if you signed up for it when available and still have an active account, then you still have access to all the features of this plan until you decide to cancel and resubscribe or change your plan.

Is there a Paramount Plus Essential plan in the UK?

Paramount Plus UK launched in June 2022 with a single plan for £6.99, so there is no Essential or Premium plan for UK subscribers. Everyone gets the same plan.

Phil Nickinson

Phil spent his 20s in the newsroom of the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, his 30s on the road for and Mobile Nations and is the Dad part of Modern Dad.

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