ViacomCBS to Rebrand and Relaunch CBS All Access as ‘Super Service’

Adding content and an improved user experience

In a virtual conference last week, ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish expanded on the network’s plans to rebrand and relaunch its popular streaming video subscription service CBS All Access as a super service, says The Hollywood Reporter. The company will build on the deep content catalog CBS All Access already has and will add a new slate of originals, more than 100 Paramount films, 15,000 additional hours of TV and movie content and live sports over the coming months.

“We have a good position in the older segment with the current All Access product, but this really brings a lot of young audience to the table,” said Bakish.

In addition, subscribers to the super service will see additional content from favorite networks including Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, the Smithsonian Network, MTV, BET and the Paramount Network. The full slate of new content will be available sometime next year. Bakish said the network’s catalog of content will be “multiple times larger than many of the new SVOD entrants.”

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Bakish shared some of the coming changes on the company’s first quarter 2020 earnings call.

“We are accelerating our plans for an expanded, building off our CBS All Access platform with major changes coming this summer as we track towards the re-brand and re-launch of a transformed product,” Bakish said. “We believe audiences want their entertainment on demand and their news, sports and events live. And through our expanded offering, we will be the service that gives them what they want, how they want it, all in one all in one place and at a great value. This will be a compelling foundational service for some consumers and a differentiated complement to what some other consumers already have.”

ViacomCBS is going to revamp CBS All Access, adding new content and upgrading the user experience.
ViacomCBS is going to revamp CBS All Access, adding new content and upgrading the user experience.

A revamped CBS All Access subscription-based super service will build on ViacomCBS’ success in the streaming market. In its first quarter 2020 earnings report released May 7, the company shared highlights of its streaming and digital video business.

  • Domestic streaming digital video revenue was $471 million, an increase of 51% year-over-year. This includes subscription and video ad revenue.
  • Domestic streaming subscribers surpassed 13.5 million, a 50% increase year-over-year.
  • CBS All Access and Showtime OTT had record sign-ups and viewership due, in part, to popular shows like Star Trek: Picard and Homeland.
  • Pluto TV, an ad-supported streaming video service, had 24 million domestic monthly active users, a 55% increase year-over-year.
  • Viewership of streaming platforms in April was its highest ever in terms of OTT sign-ups, daily average streams and minutes watched. Among the most popular programs were Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Picard, The Good Fight and Survivor.
  • Showtime OTT has its best month ever in terms of time watched and total streams. Original series viewership grew 50% and movies grew 110% year-over-year.

CBS All Access launched in October 2014, and it has been consistently popular, seeing steady growth. It is a subscription-only service priced at $5.99 a month with ads or $9.99 per month without ads.

Insider Take:

We’ve always been impressed by CBS’s approach to streaming television and its repeated growth and success quarter after quarter. It is exciting to see that, despite unprecedented growth in recent months, that the company is still rethinking its streaming model and trying to improve it to appeal to younger audiences. A new user experience and exclusive content could make it more attractive to additional viewers, helping CBS All Access, Showtime OTT and Pluto TV compete with other SVOD providers.