Once upon a time, before there was a Parmount+, before the marriage of Viacom and CBS, an “unfortunate” mistake was made: the company signed over streaming rights for their series Yellowstone to NBCUniversal.
Who could have known then that both companies would end up having their own streaming services, and that Yellowstone would become everyone’s parents’ favorite show? Paramount has tried to reclaim as much of the show’s success as possible, hosting the rest of the growing Yellowstone Cinematic Universe on Paramount+, but the flagship show living over on Peacock is surely still a sore point.
The company has learned a valuable lesson from this casualty of the streaming wars. During an appearance at MoffettNathanson’s 9th annual Media and Communications Summit, Paramount Global CFO Naveen Chopra stated, “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.” Per Deadline, he continued, “Today, that doesn’t necessarily make sense. As some of those things come up, we’ll keep them for our owned and operated platform.”
In fact, Chopra said Paramount will be producing content for third-party distributors a lot less frequently in the future. “The reality is, that’s a pretty low-margin business anyway. It doesn’t make sense strategically to enable our competitors with that content,” he said.
It seems so obvious now, but oldheads may still remember a time when production and distribution could be separate branches of the entertainment biz.
And speaking of monopolies, Paramount has made up for the loss of Yellowstone’s streaming rights by monopolizing the rest of creator Taylor Sheridan’s time, greenlighting no less than four spin-offs of his juggernaut series. Peacock may get to keep Kevin Costner, but Paramount+ will have Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren. Take that, NBCUniversal!