After only a few hours after the announced merger of two media conglomerates, Viacom and CBS–now known as ViacomCBS–are already designing the blueprints for their future. CEO Bob Bakish and CBS head Joe Ianniello took part in an investor call to discuss aspects of the merger after the close of the markets. A big part of that blueprint involves entering the streaming service arena with, you guessed it, a ViacomCBS streaming app.
Ianniello, who will take the role of CBS’ Chairman-CEO once the merger is complete, explained that the formation of the streaming service would provide over 140,000 television episodes 3,600 movies to potential viewers. “Just think about adding content from Nickelodeon, BET, MTV, Comedy Central to CBS All Access, and Paramount movies to Showtime,” Ianniello said.“And also imagine our [ad-supported video on demand] properties like CBS Sports HQ and ET Live being added to Pluto [TV]. Plus, all of this will increasingly be done on a global basis.”
In a market that has been commanded by Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Studios–and will soon welcome the likes of Apple, Disney, Warner Bros. and NBCUniversal–ViacomCBS seems determined to set foot in the ring and bring its merged library to the fight. Variety laid out the content that the company looks to house in its streaming service:
CBS All Access and Showtime together have eight million paying subscribers, a figure execs hope to push to 25 million by 2022. As Disney, WarnerMedia and NBCUniversal prepare to launch their streaming platforms, backed by vast libraries of their own, bulking up the relatively insular All Access—which presently only carries CBS content like NCIS and Star Trek: Discovery—appears to be something of a necessity. Bakish also emphasized the potential of the Star Trek and Mission: Impossible franchises under the ViacomCBS umbrella going forward… Viacom’s recently acquired AVOD Pluto TV, which has 18 million users and around 150 content suppliers, offers viewing free of charge. Adding CBS’ ad-supported sports, news and entertainment services will likewise bolster its appeal.
It was inevitable, once the “big three” (Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon) saw immense success with their streaming services, that numerous other companies would look into the same feature. However, one can’t help to wonder if all these companies creating services–which means each will have its own subscription price–will increase the number of viewers who look back to the dark methods of pirating content. When streaming first began, the drive to pirate content saw a decline as each company contained immense levels of content. But now, with multiple companies removing their properties from current streamers for the purpose of creating their own pay services, acquiring all these options can equal out or become a higher cost in monthly bills than what viewers paid for cable or satellite. Ironic, since many joined these services in order to leave the high cost of cable.
It will be interesting to see what the future holds for the streaming industry. Will the new kids see record profits or will they crash and burn? Only time will tell, as the first of the new additions arrive later this year.
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