Launching a new streaming service is all the rage in 2017, and it goes without saying that some will succeed and some will fail (I guess I just said it, sigh). While it’s great for consumers to have freedom of choice and a wealth of options, at a certain point the economics just don’t make sense. I don’t know about you, but I’m already paying for an Internet connection, a smartphone service, YouTube TV (I’m a cord-cutter), Netflix, and Hulu… it adds up, and unless I have a really, really, really compelling reason to subscribe to a new service, it’s not happening.
Bottom line, to be successful in the streaming economy, you need a “killer app.” CBS launched its All-Access streaming service in February, and is clearly counting on Star Trek: Discovery to save its digital bacon; unless there’s an untapped pool of 30 million fans I don’t know about who’re dying for re-runs of The Good Wife and NCIS (not likely). Incidentally, the debut episode of Star Trek: Discovery launches on September 24, 2017, with new episodes dropping every Sunday thereafter… and therein lies part of the problem.
It’s not a completely foolish strategy to align or withhold popular content to help drive subscriptions, and the hype and anticipation for Star Trek: Discovery is fairly solid (it’s sitting at 88% “Want to See” on Rotten Tomatoes). However, it’s also a pretty safe bet that a lot of Trekkies are also holding out for media and fan reactions before making the leap.
Unfortunately, according to io9, CBS is apparently blocking early reviews of Star Trek: Discovery via an embargo that restricts their release until the series airs. This creates two problems: creating needless frustration in the media and increasing fan’s trepidation about the show’s quality. As a PR strategy, this is a remarkable fail, as no one (outside of top CBS execs) is going to applaud this decision.
EMBARGO!! CBS is prohibiting publication of reviews of #StarTrekDiscovery prior to airing.
— Hercules Strong (@hercAICN) September 14, 2017
Star Trek: Discovery has a fantastic cast and the trailers suggest a high-quality effort… but we all know that clips, teasers, and trailers can be misleading. Now fans have to be wondering: what are they hiding? If CBS’ marketing and PR folks thought this move would stoke excitement, they’ve read the wrong tea leaves.
I suspect that many fans will just hold out until all episodes drop, and then subscribe to CBS All-Access for a month to binge Star Trek: Discovery; it’s a strategy a lot of Game of Thrones and Silicon Valley fans follow with HBO GO.
Does the review embargo help or hinder your interest in Star Trek: Discovery? Let us know in the comments down below!
Star Trek: Discovery hits CBS All Access streaming service on September 24, 2017.
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