Paramount is hurting its Star Trek brand it seems.
Paramount has some huge shows and movies, let’s not mince words here. Spongebob Squarepants and Mission Impossible are part of the paramount portfolio. When it comes to franchises, they’re doing great. When it comes to franchises keeping Paramount+ afloat, not so much. It’s really a two-dog race at that point, Star Trek and the Yellowstone franchise.
Trek, in fact, may even be more popular than Yellowstone at this point, at least according to things like the Nielsen streaming ratings. While it’s very likely the streaming industry is going to fall in on itself sooner rather than later, it looks like Trek is helping keep the lights on at Paramount+, being one of the few shows they have that can crack into the Top 10 of minutes watched.
That doesn’t mean that Paramount is going to help elevate Trek, in fact, they’re making moves that downright hinder the franchise. Now, they’re doing even more by selling off the book publishing arm that helped make Trek the powerhouse it was; Simon & Schuster.
The publisher saw great success with Trek books in the 80s and 90s, and they’re still doing good numbers in the 2020s. But due to the staggering losses that Paramount+ has incurred on the brand, as well as the financial mess that came with the Viacom and CBS merger, the company has got to find ways to recoup its staggering losses.
Paramount has sold Simon & Schuster to KKR, a private equity firm for $1.6 billion. It’s unknown who will retain the publishing rights to Star Trek, as Paramount still owns the franchise.
Paramount’s big moves are hurting the Star Trek fandom
You could expect a group like KKR to keep publishing Star Trek books going forward, as they need to make back the money they spent on the purchase, so it makes sense that the franchise would stay the course, so to speak, with the new owners.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be things the fandom has to deal with. Prices will likely be higher for the book, and who knows if the distribution arm of this new company is on the same level as what fans are used to.
Are collectors and fans of physical books going to be able to find the titles needed to grow their collection, or will everything be digital?
2022 was a great year for the Trek brand, but now it seems like 2023 is doing everything it can to be the evil twin.