ViacomCBS is launching a new streaming service that will hopefully do more for the recently merged company than the current form of CBS All Access has done over the course of six years.
The new service will build on CBS All Access (which costs $ 5.99 per month with ads or $ 9.99 per month without) by offering customers a range of Viacom networks. The company announced its comprehensive approach to streaming, which ViacomCBS called “House of Brands” in a press release. Part of the company’s objectives to “accelerate” its presence in the streaming space is to “follow a differentiated approach that builds on the unique basis of ViacomCBS in streaming, playing to its strengths.” This includes offering live sports and news, similar to what NBCUniversal does with Peacock.
CBS All Access will expand a new “House of Brands” product with a broad reward by adding the company’s scalable assets to film and TV, including world-famous brands, and reaffirming the value of entertainment, news and sports. expanding – through on-demand and live experiences – for target groups around the world, “says a press release.
The goal is to supplement services such as Pluto TV (free) and the premium offer from Showtime by “adding a wide payment offer built on the basis of CBS All Access.” Details are still extremely thin, including how much the different layers will cost. More information is expected about the company’s call for profit with investors.
The new service is now only a possibility, thanks to the merger between CBS and Viacom. Networks and studios such as BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and Paramount Pictures did not fully belong to CBS prior to the network and Viacom returned last year. The new service also gives subscribers access to Pluto TV, a free ad-supported virtual TV service that Viacom has purchased for the CBS merger and that programs customers from specialized channels. In particular, Pluto offers access to limited versions of NBC News, Spike TV, MTV, The Movie Channel, CBS News and CNN.
CBS was one of the first newcomers to the streaming wars. The company launched All Access in October 2014 – seven years after Netflix launched its streaming service and five years before Disney, Apple, NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia entered the game. While CBS was early, All Access never became the streaming juggernaut that the company hoped it would happen. All independent streaming services from Access and Showtime reached 10 million subscribers in January 2020, an increase of 2 million compared to the previous year.
Although 10 million is nothing to spot, CBS All Access has fewer customers than HBO Now. It also follows the 28 million Disney Plus subscribers that the company collected within just the first three months of the launch, and All Access still has a shortage of 30 million Hulu subscribers and far removed from Netflix’s 60 million subscribers in The United States. Recently, however, the company announced it broke records for All Access logins, which were powered by the success of Picard, it’s new Star Trek series, and the Grammy broadcast.
At the time, the slower growth of CBS All Access was not such a problem, because the streaming competition came mainly from Netflix. However, with Disney Disney becoming faster and competition from both NBCUniversal (Peacock) and WarnerMedia (HBO Max) increasing later this spring, ViacomCBS knows it has to compete with competitors in both digital and linear space.
“The combined company will have the best of both worlds, premium American programming that seamlessly travels across borders and hundreds of thousands of hours of locally produced international programming, all available at the click of a button,” former acting CBS CEO Joe Ianniello told investors during a call in August 2019.
Prior to merging Viacom and CBS, Viacom’s strategy in the streaming wars was to sell some of its most important programs in stand-alone streaming packages. Nickelodeon produced NickSplat, which cost subscribers $ 6.99 a month, and BET Plus, which included a range of BET classics and new originals, for $ 9.99 a month. Many of these channels were available through other platforms, including Amazon channels, where they could be purchased as add-ons for Prime subscriptions.
Similar to its competitors, ViacomCBS will use the new streaming service to offer total exclusivity for its series and films. That means that Paramount films will leave competitors such as Netflix and Hulu. The largest franchises of Paramount include the Star Trek movies, transformers, Paranormal activity and Mission Impossible. Disney did the same with its films in the run-up to the launch of Disney Plus and WarnerMedia is in the process of transferring all its films, including Warner Bros. titles, to HBO Max. NBCUniversal is going to make its largest film franchises, including The fast and the furious, exclusively for Peacock.
However, some franchises are shared. Netflix and ViacomCBS have signed a deal for new titles, including a new one Spongebob Squarepants show. It is unclear how the company decides what to license and what to keep, but licenses generate extra income while the company tries to transfer new subscribers to its new streaming service.