CBS All Access Chiefs Give Update On Subscriber Figures, Viacom Programming Plans & Broad Content Strategy – TCA

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CBS has added 2 million subscribers to its CBS All Access and Showtime streaming services in the last 12 months. The broadcaster revealed the new subscribers figures as part of a general update on the digital service during Marc DeBevoise and Julie McNamara’s executive session at the TCA winter press tour.

The pair also discussed the company’s plans to move some Viacom content to the service following its merger with CBS and discussed original programming plans, including a hint at a potential move towards game shows.

DeBevoise, Chief Digital Officer, ViacomCBS, and President and CEO, CBS Interactive, said the company has continued on its “incredible growth path” and that it is still on target to reach 25 million subscribers to CBS All Access and Showtime by 2022. He also added that it had seen around 80% growth in terms of overall streams and said he was happy with its position in the market following the launch of rival services such as Apple TV+ and Disney+.

“There’s been a lot of talk about what the new entrants to the streaming space would mean to the overall marketplace,” he said. “We have always looked at the so-called streaming wars as anything but a zero-sum game and consumer behavior has continued to prove that.”

He also said there “were lots of opportunities going forward” in terms of adding Viacom content to CBS All Access. This comes after it revealed it was “loading up” on a number of kids titles from Nickelodeon. “We’re in the middle of talking through those all of those pieces,” he said. “We’ve already started to dabble and there will be a lot more that we can discuss in the future. We’re evaluating those things over time. We view it as a much larger content portfolio.”

McNamara, EVP Original Content at CBS All Access, unveiled a number of new originals during her session including animated series Tooning Out the News and The Harper House as well as an animal-rescue docuseries from Richard Linklater and a second season of Star Trek spinoff Picard. “Are there other genres [that CBS All Access could move into]?,” she asked. “Maybe game shows. There’s been a lot of game shows this week. We’re definitely open and are very happy with how our brand is evolving.”

McNamara added she wanted to keep its originals strategy broad.

“I tend to not to get too philosophically dug in [but] we do have a sense, that it’s a great space to be in,” she said. “It’s a premium service that puts all of the resources that can speak to a broad audience, it’s not designed to be particularly niche or indie and that taps back to the brand of our corporation. It’s not a dirty word to say something is going to be commercial.”

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