Streaming is one of ViacomCBS’s fastest growing businesses. To meet this demand, the company is accelerating major changes to CBS All Access.
According to Bob Bakish, CEO of ViacomCBS, major changes will be made to the company’s central paid streaming service this morning. These changes are integrated directly into the current CBS All Access platform. The company does not create a new version from scratch, but increases the amount of content available and makes important technological changes.
“We are accelerating our plans for an expanded subscription service based on CBS All Access. Important changes will be made this summer as we focus on renaming and relaunching a transformed product,”
The expanded CBS All Access, which the company calls the “House of Brands” earlier this year, will add 30,000 episodes of shows from Viacom’s largest networks, including Nickelodeon, MTV, BET, Comedy Central, and the Smithsonian Channel. The expansion will also include 1,000 films from the Paramount library, including franchises like Impossible mission. Bakish reiterated that one of the major strengths of CBS All Access is its library, one of the largest among all media conglomerates with streaming services, and the revised All Access will work to highlight this offering.
However, it’s not just library content. Bakish confirmed that CBS All Access’ new strategy will focus on developing new originals to compete with new streaming competitors like HBO Max and Peacock. ViacomCBS will rely on its intellectual property library to develop these shows, much like it is at Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Picard, and The good fight.
“We are in full swing streaming,” said Bakish.
To compete with competitors like Peacock, CBS All Access’s new plan will also rely heavily on leveraging its news and sports offerings. National and local news from over 200 CBS partners will be available through CBS All Access, Bakish said. Games from leagues such as NCAA, NFL and PGA, for which CBS has the rights, are also available to subscribers. CBS does not have the exclusive rights to every NFL game, but those that air on CBS will still be available on All Access. CBS All Access will also transfer exclusive streaming rights to certain sports leagues, such as women’s football, Bakish confirmed.
In addition to ViacomCBS’s plan to accelerate the growth of its CBS All Access platform in the U.S. – a decision made after subscribers to All Access and Showtime’s OTT service exceeded 13.5 million, an increase of 50 Percent over the previous year – Bakish and the team have plans for further international development. ViacomCBS “will launch a broad pay streaming product internationally in the next 12 months,” said Bakish, but did not disclose any further details.
Much of the acceleration plan is created during the coronavirus pandemic as more people spend time at home looking for entertainment to stream. ViacomCBS’s streaming platforms have seen significant growth in the amount of time people spend streaming “with accelerated subscriber growth and consumption, which has increased consumer demand for their content,” the company said. People want to stream, and ViacomCBS wants CBS All Access to be a “basic” streaming platform for consumers, according to Bakish.
“The audience wants on-demand entertainment and news, sports and live events,” said Bakish. “We will be the service that gives you what you want, how you want it, all in one place and at an affordable price.” This will be a compelling basic service for some and a nuanced addition for others. “