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Thanks for the “free marketing” AT&T: CBS has added 2 million All Access and Showtime OTT subs


At the Winter 2020 TCA Press Tour in Pasadena yesterday, CBS discussed its plans to move some Viacom content to the CBS All Access subscription service, original content plans, as well as announcing that it’s added 2 million subscribers for CBS All Access and Showtime OTT.


Collectively, All Access and Showtime OTT have reached 10 million subscribers, which is up from the previous update of 8 million, which were broken out as follows:


  • CBS All Access: 3.8m subs

  • Showtime OTT: 4.2m subs


“We’re in a great position to hit our goals of 25 million subscribers by 2022,” ViacomCBS chief digital officer and CBS Interactive CEO Marc DeBevoise said on Sunday, noting that subscribers have been growing 60% year over year.


Though we’ll never know how much, it’s safe to presume AT&T helped fuel those numbers.


Back in July 2019, CBS found itself in a near three-week contract dispute with AT&T, which saw CBS-owned channels blacked out across DirecTV, AT&T TV Now, and U-Verse. In blacked-out markets, AT&T directed its customers to sign up for All Access.

“You may be able to stream CBS through the Locast app on your TV.”...”You can also watch some CBS programming on cbs.com or with a subscription to the CBS All Access App.”

DeBevoise even joked about it at a previous TCA event thanking AT&T for the free marketing.


And it’s not just all customer acquisition, All Access subscriber churn is in the single digits, similar to that of other premium streaming services according to DeBevoise.


He commented, “We’ve decreased churn each year since starting the service, so we feel really good about the trend line.”


Only time would tell how Viacom and CBS would combine its video products once the merger was finalized. A month later, we’re seeing a strategy start to take shape. To compete with Netflix, who spent about $15 billion on content in 2019, it only makes sense that ViacomCBS would combine assets to make a bigger, badder All Access.


May we suggest Nickelodeon or BET?


Marc DeBevoise thinks there’s room for more players, but he knows that content is king, which is why he’s previously touted the strength of All Access’12,000-plus titles, compared to the 8,000 titles and 3,000 episodes from Starz and HBO respectively.


ViacomCBS boasts an existing library of 3,600 film titles and 140,000 TV episodes. CBS All Access had already planned on ramping up its content slate by offering at least 12 original series by this year in addition to expanding into sports, movies, documentaries, and series acquisitions. We can now add game shows to that list. All Access plans to launch a show every month with a tentpole series each quarter.


The most anticipated series this year is Star Trek: Picard, which will get big promotion that will escalate between the AFC Championship Game and the Grammys. The show will start on January 23rd.


And for the record, here’s a list of video properties owned and operated by the recently formed ViacomCBS.


  • CBS All Access

  • Showtime OTT

  • Pluto TV: 20 million monthly active users

  • Noggin: About 2.5 million subs

  • BET+

  • Others, including NickHits, MTV Hits, and Comedy Central Now. These channels can be primarily accessed via affiliate platforms such as Amazon Prime Channels.

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