Paramount and Skydance have officially merged – here's what that means for Paramount Plus

Miles Teller in Top Gun: Maverick
(Image credit: © 2019 Paramount Pictures. All rights reserved.)

Paramount Global looks to have finally closed in on a buyer and out of the long list of suitors that it has attracted in the past six months, it's Skydance Media that's agreed to merge with the iconic Hollywood company. The two companies announced the deal on Sunday (July 7) night, with the chair of Paramount and its holding company National Amusements, Shari Redstone, declaring that content would remain king under the new business in a statement.    

Redstone will pass the executive leadership torch from the current cohort of co-CEOs (George Cheeks, Chris McCarthy and Brian Robbins) to David Ellison, who will take the reins of the newly formed Paramount. The former actor turned Hollywood producer is known in the industry for being a bit of a daredevil so it will be exciting to see what he has in store. After all, the two companies aren't strangers to each other, having worked together on producing movies like the action blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick and sci-fi favorite Star Trek Into Darkness.  

A long time coming

Image of the Paramount Plus logo on a mobile phone resting on a laptop

(Image credit: Paramount Inc.)

Talks about a potential Paramount Global and Skydance Media merger have been ongoing since last year, but Skydance wasn't always the most likely candidate. Negotiations for a potential Paramax Plus had fallen through in February only to be picked up again by Peacock, which was later joined by Sony in April, so there were plenty of contenders in the race.

In fact, when The Wall Street Journal originally broke the story last week that a potential deal between Paramount and Skydance was back on the table, potential bidders like Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) and Comcast's NBCUniversal started circling again due to a 45-day cooling period that allowed others to still make offers. 

Of course, now that Skydance has swooped in with a finalized offer, any such deals with WDB and NBC are no longer in discussion but that doesn't mean that we won't see other forms of collaboration occur. Like all the best streaming services, Paramount has struggled with its bottom line and has taken to rolling out cost saving measures, which is why you've recently seen it hike up its prices again.

One way to help offset rising costs is through licensing content to other streamers but there's also the chanced that Paramount could offer more bundling options to subscribers too. Ellison previously told The New York Times that he'd look to explore more bundling to keep up with the broader industry trend so there's a real chance we might hear more about such offers, especially if it reignites discussions with former suitors.   

How will Skydance change Paramount Plus?

Paramount Plus

(Image credit: Paramount Plus)

Paramount Global is home to iconic film studios behind classics like Titanic, Indiana Jones, and The Godfather, the broadcaster CBS, cable networks like MTV Entertainment and Nickelodeon, and of course its streaming arm, which includes Paramount Plus, its FAST service Pluto TV and Black Entertainment Television's (BET) streamer BET Plus.    

By joining with Skydance, Paramount has access to its ventures in TV, which has worked on shows like Grace and Frankie, Reacher and Foundation, interactive entertainment such as virtual reality content (it's behind The Walking Dead VR game), and its animation studio, which made Luck. It should come as no surprise that there are already plans to bolster this side of this business with talk of Paramount's animation studio joining up with Skydance's, which is led by pioneer John Lasseter.  

Ellison also previously said in an interview with The New York Times that he'd like to "supercharge" Paramount's streaming capabilities by improving its content discovery with better recommendations as well as making more efficient deals with data providers to help strengthen the business's bottom line. Of course, any new changes will take some financing so whether that means we'll see more of Paramount's original productions licensed to other streamers as a way to offset costs in the meantime is a real possibility.  

As the younger media business, can Skydance save the cost-burdened old Hollywood company Paramount by the brim of its fedora hat (much like Indie was able to in Temple of Doom)? It's still very early days so keep an eye out for updates on what Ellison decides to do next. In the meantime, there's still time to enjoy the best Paramount Plus movies and best Paramount Plus shows.

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Amelia Schwanke
Senior Editor UK, Home Entertainment

Amelia became the Senior Editor for Home Entertainment at TechRadar in the UK in April 2023. With a background of more than eight years in tech and finance publishing, she's now leading our coverage to bring you a fresh perspective on everything to do with TV and audio. When she's not tinkering with the latest gadgets and gizmos in the ever-evolving world of home entertainment, you’ll find her watching movies, taking pictures and travelling.