Paramount+ LAUNCH FAIL (Fixed) – Automatic Update For CBS All Access Existing Customers Didn’t Allow Roku TV Activation Codes

It’s launch day for Paramount+ and while we’d love to tell existing CBS All Access subscribers that it’s a smooth transition, well, that was not the case.

As with too many things today, new customers are treated better than existing customers (see: Poor Technical Execution: Paramount+ LIMITED TIME OFFER 50% Discount for CBS All Access Customers).

When you visit Roku Smart TV channel lineup, the CBS All Access icon is gone and you must now sign in anew. The problem is the login points to not So the activation codes for the TV don’t work.

This sent us back to the computer where our account was functional.

We can sign into our account and see the new paramount+ content there (Spongebob: Sponge on the Run, namely), but when we try to activate this perfectly working account on Roku it tells us to go to and activate. When we go there, it doesn’t recognize the account email.

Confused? Of course you are! So are we. CBS had months to get this figured out — work out how the transition process would work and it is one hot tech mess. I’m a tech-savvy customer and having problems, that means people who aren’t are going to be lighting up their 1-800 customer support line wanting to get their “automatically updated” CBS All Access now Paramount+ account working on their Roku-powered smart TVs — and not able to.

Looks like an app update will be coming soon.

Oh, and our Paramount+ login that works fine on the computer doesn’t work at all on the Roku. My guess is that it’s looking for a Roku account setup for Paramount+ and not an account that was activated through the computer. But, like I said above, everything points to which seems to not have migrated the pre-launch existing paramountplus accounts. They didn’t even recognize our email as having an account. When I signed up with the same email address as our paramount+ account — it created a brand new FREE account. Sigh.

Guess for the time being if we want to watch anything from Paramount+ it will have to be on the computer?! Maybe I can get it to work on the phone and cast it to TV that way … a workaround, yes, but at least providing some way to watch Paramount+ on our TV.


Tried again an hour later — after writing this post and tweeting my initial frustration (see here) — and the Roku smart TV app now properly points to We were finally able to make it all work. Those of you who don’t wake up first thing in the morning for these things will have missed the excitement.

This is the pain of being on the bleeding edge of anything. Kudos to the Paramount+ engineers that quickly noticed the problem and/or saw existing early riser customers were having these issues and fixed it! Thank you.

Off to check out what’s new …

More Details on Paramount+ ad-supported tier: $1/month less than CBS All Access, but no local CBS channels

We already fought our way through to a full year subscription at 50% off of Paramount+ (see: Poor Technical Execution: Paramount+ LIMITED TIME OFFER 50% Discount for CBS All Access Customers), but as the March launch date draws nearer, we’re learning even more about what the rebranded, expanded service is going to look like — and if you like live TV, the less expensive ad-supported monthly plan might not be as appealing.

The base, ad-supported tier of Paramount Plus, launching in June, will cost $4.99 per month — a dollar less than the current entry-level CBS All Access package with commercials. The full Paramount Plus premium tier with no ads (except in live programming) will be the same, at $9.99 per month. There’s an important caveat, though: The $5 monthly plan for Paramount Plus, while it will include live sports including NFL games, will exclude local CBS stations.

Paramount Plus: What’s Streaming, Pricing Plans, How to Get It – Variety

For those who don’t care about the local channels, and if you have access to in your area or have your own antenna setup to get them free, you can enjoy there instead and save the buck a month.

Will you be signing up and checking out Paramount+ at launch, or waiting to see what sort of new content it provides that you can’t get elsewhere?

Poor Technical Execution: Paramount+ LIMITED TIME OFFER 50% Discount for CBS All Access Customers

This morning, we converted our monthly subscription to CBS All Access to annual. The price is right, however, the deal is a bit confusing on the actual sign-up process for existing subscribers.

Let’s break this LIMITED TIME OFFER down.

CBS All-Access customers who sign up for a full year of Paramount Plus right now will pay $29.99 ($2.50 a month) for the base version, and $49.99 ($4.16 monthly) for an iteration with no commercials.  ViacomCBS is promoting this as 50% off the current $59.99 and $99.99 one-year price for Paramount Plus service.  The conglomerate hasn’t announced Paramount Plus monthly pricing. But with the promo, CBS All Access customers are actually paying 58% less on a monthly basis for the $5.99 CBS All Access base tier, while getting a 59% break on the $9.99-a-month ad-free version

Paramount Plus Discounted by 58% for Current CBS All Access Customers | Next TV

Firstly, I dislike articles and blog posts that talk about deals that don’t actually link to or explain the process. Cinemablend is guilty of telling us about the deal, but how do we actually redeem it?

I went to Paramount+ and clicked on the banner. It took me to the CBS All Access account area where the deal is showing in the subtext, but not in the bolded amount, see picture below.

The limited commercials option shows $59.99/year, but the text says “the offer of 12 months of $30.00/year) ?!?!

What are we actually paying? $59.99/year or $30/year? The $99.99/year commercial free option doesn’t show any discount.

Went ahead and pulled the trigger for the yearly option and immediately received an email saying we’d be billed $59.99 in February 2022. So, guess we’re agreeing to pay $59.99 a year from now. Have to check to see what we actually were billed immediately. Was it $30 or $59.99?

Argh. It was $59.99. So, then did what nobody wants to do: call customer service. After 10 minutes or so waiting, a rep came on the line and sighed that there were “issues” with the offer working for everybody who tried to redeem it. Some were not allowed to include the discount code PARAMOUNTPLUS, which triggers the offer. And he couldn’t fix it without canceling our subscription. He did.

Then we were refunded like $3, not the $59.99. This was the pro-rated amount of what remained of the monthly subscription.

Ultimately, they never went through with the charge of $59.99 and our account was credited again. The answer from the customer service rep was to “sign up with a different email address” for a new account. I sure hope nobody else reading that wants to sign up for this deal goes through the process like this.

Paramount+/CBS All Access has to get this process figured out better. Really.

ViacomCBS announces new plus-sized name for expanded CBS All Access: Paramount+

Hat tip to TrekCore

As if Disney+ and AppleTV+ weren’t inspired names enough for the plus symbol, as if a name change was really necessary, ViacomCBS is dropping the name CBS All Access in favor of something new.

Here’s the press release intro.

Sept. 15, 2020 – ViacomCBS (NASDAQ: VIAC, VIACA) today unveiled “Paramount+” as the brand name for the company’s upcoming global streaming service, building on a legacy of innovation and superior storytelling that distinguishes one of the most iconic brands in Hollywood. The company’s transformed subscription video on-demand and live streaming service, CBS All Access, will be rebranded as Paramount+ in early 2021 as part of the service’s expansion to feature content from ViacomCBS’ leading portfolio of broadcast, news, sports and entertainment brands.


Processing. Not sure what to think of the new name. CBS and Paramount are both strong names, but which one is more recognizable? I’m going with CBS. So, CBS All Access sounded pretty good to me. Paramount+ is a one-liner so it will make headlines about it more compact, but not sure it’s a better name.

Is it a worse name? Not really. I mean, it’s miles better than Quibi, easily the worst streaming channel name to come along in awhile. Somebody was drinking some severe tech Kool-Aid when they put that name on the blackboard.

I’ve never been much of a fan for brand name changes. Customers get used to brands and names and changing them is risky business. Did Comcast really get cooler when they became Xfinity? No. Will the name change matter here? I don’t know. Am sure they felt like if they just added a bunch of expanded content to CBS All Access it wouldn’t get as much media attention as also changing the name. Not the case for us here, as we report on any significant new changes on content regardless if the the streaming channel name changes or not, but ViacomCBS isn’t thinking about tiny little us. They’re wanting the ability to blast out multiple press releases. First, they get one for the name change, another when they pick the launch date, another when they launch — see how the game is plaed.

They’re telegraphing the name change six months or so in advance, maybe three months, if “early 2021” translates to January 2021. My guess is “early 2021” means first quarter to early second quarter, so this launch could be anywhere from January – May, 2021. If they’ve settled on a name, you’d think a launch date might be close behind.

What do you think of the name, friendly readers? Does it make any difference to you what a streaming service is called? If they have the content, we’re there, right? Without it a name is just a name.

AppleTV+ isn’t better because they have the “+” at the end. Neither is Disney. Peacock stayed out of it and just called themselves Peacock. HBO wanted to be cooler than a plus, so added the word “max” to the end. Or maybe they decapitated the Cine-“max”. Har har.