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With all the new streaming services cropping up, it can be hard to pick which one is the best. But one of the standouts in terms of both quality and quantity of its content has easily been Paramount Plus. A big component of this is its selection of science fiction, both new and old.
Star Trek, Twilight Zone, Twin Peaks, and even the new Halo show. But there is a curious difference between Paramount Plus in Canada and Paramount Plus in the United States.
The differences come in two flavors: Differences in licensing and differences in cultural taste. But to a person who is picking between the two products, the reason for the differences is not as important as figuring out which service is better.
Paramount Plus Canada Vs. US at a Glance
Paramount Plus US Advantages:
- Huge variety of shows
- Includes classics, new episodes, and movies
- Comes with a free trial
- Low cost compared to other streaming services
Paramount Plus US Disadvantages:
- Its originals are horribly reviewed
- Poor interface
- No app for some devices
Paramount Plus Canada Advantages:
- Includes the occasional exclusive movie or kid’s show
- Takes Canadian money
- Some French shows
Paramount Plus Canada Disadvantages:
- Lacking a huge amount of content
- Easy to overpay
- Its exclusives are sometimes temporary
Winner: Paramount Plus US by a wide margin
What’s The Difference Between Them?
Whose Shows are Better?
This is what really makes or breaks a streaming service. But there is a degree of nuance to answering this question. For one, what makes one show better than the other? This question is already full of layers, from judging its pacing, writing, acting, and production design.
But you can go even further and judge whether or not a show is better as a component in a streaming service, or as a cable broadcast.
We should also note that we are not talking about shows made by the platform, as those fall under “exclusives” down below. We are just talking about the shows that are on the service.
For us, the US version of Paramount Plus is the winner. However, the margin between the two is more narrow than you might think.
Paramount Plus US has:
- Twin Peaks
- Every Star Trek show ever
- South Park
- RuPaul’s Drag Race…
The list goes on. It’s a lot.
We could list TV shows all day. The important thing to understand is that they have a huge variety of shows for a huge variety of tastes. Genres, look and feel, age range, you name it.
But Paramount Plus Canada has this as well. In fact, due to licensing, they have a few shows that Paramount Plus US does not have.
Perhaps the biggest standout is:
If only because of the nostalgia factor on top of the fact that it is normally only on Disney Plus.
Paramount Plus Canada also has:
- The new Addams Family
- The Stand
- Criminal Minds
Basically, where you would normally find these classics on other networks, they are on Paramount Plus instead.
But those are not enough. Simply put, for every unique show Paramount Plus Canada has, its counterpart in the United States has at least three more that are not available in Canada.
Verdict: Paramount Plus US
Which Costs Less?
This is a funny comparison between the two services because you might look at them and think that they cost the same. And indeed, both their prices are listed as $5 (or $4.99 if you want to get specific). But there is something that makes Paramount Plus Canada cost a little less.
Simply put, Canada’s money is of lower value than the currency of the United States. It is sometimes hard to tell that this is the case, though. They both use the same symbol to represent their different currencies. The reason for this is a little complex.
The short version is that tons of currencies base themselves around the United States Dollar anyways, so they just use the dollar symbol even though they might be a different currency handled by a different government. Good examples are Canada and Australia.
But this also means that if you have the choice between paying $5 in United States Dollars and $5 in Canadian Dollars, then paying in Canadian Dollars is cheaper every time. Or rather, it is cheaper until the Canadian Dollar becomes more valuable than the American Dollar.
Verdict: Paramount Plus Canada
Which is Easier to Access?
Ease of access is another factor that impacts the success of a streaming service. There are plenty of streaming services that have had tons of content, but no one knows about them or how to find the content. Even if people could find them, they had esoteric sign-up methods or ads.
Nobody wants to try to sign up for a service only to get sidetracked by its other offers. This is why so many streaming services have exactly one deal they offer you. In the past, streaming services might have a free version with ads, a premium version, and a version with exclusives.
Paramount Plus is very much leading the charge of having exactly one plan with no other tiers above or below it. But is there a difference between the US and Canadian versions?
Yes, as it happens, there is. Because while Paramount Plus is accessible through its own website in the United States version, the Canadian version of the same platform is actually only accessible through Amazon Prime integration. But what does that even mean?
Well, it means in order to get Paramount Plus in Canada, you need to purchase it as an add-on to Amazon Prime Video. It doesn’t come bundled with Amazon Prime Video.
You have to activate it as an additional service. But here is the funniest part: You do not need Amazon Prime Video in order to do this. You just have to access it through there.
Why is this the way it is? Simply put, because the app is not available in Canada yet. There are different licensing restrictions in Canada, meaning that they have to go through a different process in order to get an application approved.
Being stuck on Amazon Prime Video means that you will sometimes have trouble searching through Paramount Plus content without running into Amazon Prime content. This makes Paramount Plus from the US a far more easily accessed option between the two.
Verdict: Paramount Plus US
Whose Exclusives are Better?
While the shows produced by a platform are the core of it, exclusives are a great way for that platform to promise something new and fresh down the line. Think about it: Whichever streaming service lets you watch reruns of the Office is going to be desirable. But for how long?
Eventually, you will want something new. But how does Paramount Plus US compare to Canada in terms of its new and exclusive TV and movie content?
Frankly, there is no comparison. Paramount Plus Canada does not have any exclusives. None. It is worth mentioning that most of the exclusives from Paramount Plus US are available on the Canadian version. But not all of them. This makes this comparison rather cut and dry.
Verdict: Paramount Plus US
Whose Interface is Better?
Interface and accessibility are two different things. We want to make that clear right away. When we talk about accessibility, we are talking about how easy the service is to find and how easy it is to pay for what you want. But the interface is all about finding what you want in the service.
In the world of graphic design, professionals actually talk about what they call “PS Now problems.” These are problems in interface design exemplified by the PC client of the Playstation Now game streaming service.
It was a great streaming service, but people had trouble enjoying it simply because they couldn’t navigate it quickly or easily. There were games on there that people never found simply because the interface was so bad. That is what we are trying to avoid.
And surprisingly enough, Canada wins this one. The main reason is what you’d expect: Paramount Plus Canada is operated through Amazon Prime Video. This comes with its own problems—chiefly that Amazon Prime Video loves to try to get you to buy things.
But do you know what this does give you? Watch lists. Paramount Plus US does not have watch lists. It has a search menu, but the filters are less specific, and the ordering of searchable items makes sifting through them far more difficult.
In short, Paramount Plus US is a lot closer to having those Playstation Now problems that prevent you from finding what you are looking for.
Verdict: Paramount Plus Canada
Which Service Has Better Movies?
Movies have shrunk in popularity since the beginning of the pandemic. At this point, people are far more interested in watching a TV series that is like a 10-hour long movie than sitting down and watching something that is a concise, 2-hour long story.
But like with the TV shows, there are a few metrics you can measure a streaming service’s movie selection by. Most people do not get streaming services to find new movies, but to rewatch older movies that they love. How does Paramount Plus US compare to Canada on that front?
Again, it is tighter than you might think, but the US version of Paramount Plus still wins. The tightness of the competition really comes from the fact that there is a ton of overlap in the movies on the two services, with the United States version having only a few extra movies.
The Canadian version of Paramount Plus has a few movies that the United States version does not have, such as the 2019 Child’s Play reboot and the 2018 zombie action movie Overlord.
Because movies have such a well-established process for international licensing and distribution, just about every movie on the United States version is also on the Canadian version. But there are two things that make the United States version win anyways.
The first is the fact that almost all of the exclusive movies on Paramount Plus Canada are what is known as “timed exclusives.” That means they will not be exclusives forever. Overlord, for instance, is only a few months away from being moved off of the platform.
The second thing that makes the United States the better option is the fact that it gets movies faster. Canada shares in these spoils, but it is always a few months behind the United States in terms of what is allowed to be shown on the service.
This is mostly due to the fact that Paramount is a company based in the United States. They pursue licensing in their homeland first, and in Canada second. In general, you can discern a preference for the United States in how they do their business, and this is one example of that.
It doesn’t help that while Canada does get a few more exclusives than the United States, the movies that they do get are not that good. After all, they were not chosen to be a selling point of the Canadian version of Paramount Plus. They are a fun bonus due to licensing issues.
Verdict: Paramount Plus US
You are probably not that surprised that Paramount Plus US won out over Paramount Plus Canada. But which one is better is hardly the real question here. The real question is whether or not it is worth it to get a VPN in order to get Paramount Plus US if you are Canadian.
And the answer to that question is yes, you should do that. While it is by no means perfect, the Paramount Plus US streaming service is better than the Canadian version in every way that matters. From the TV shows, the movies, to even the exclusive content, the US version wins.