CBS All Access is now up to about 1.2 million subscribers, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
That number is still relatively close to the 1 million subscribers CBS CEO Les Moonves said All Access had back in July. At the time, Moonves said that All Access and Showtime OTT had about 2 million subscribers between them and that the split was even.
"As you recall, we set a goal of 8 million subscribers between All Access and Showtime OTT by 2020, representing $800 million in new revenue," Moonves said to investors during CBS's second-quarter earnings call. "With more than 2 million subs between them already, we are confident that this will be easily achieved."
Though All Access will likely have to pick up the pace to hit that estimated 8 million, it’s still enjoying a fairly high rate of success in terms of subscriber numbers.
As the report points out, though, that success could come back to bite CBS. The Wall Street Journal cites unnamed sources familiar with the thinking at pay-TV providers like DirecTV and Charter who feel the more subscribers that flock to All Access, the less negotiating power CBS retains for its traditional linear channels.
“You could give subscribers a $70 gift card and a free year of CBS All Access” to make up for dropping CBS from a pay-TV lineup, Thomas Larsen, senior vice president of government and public relations at Mediacom, told The Wall Street Journal.
Another issue could be looming for All Access. According to the report, the service’s two-year affiliate deal, which likely helped All Access beef up its local broadcast options, will expire in February. The Journal again cites unnamed sources claiming that stations, which currently get a 10% cut of All Access subscriber revenue, will likely seek a bigger slice.
While a few hurdles lie over the horizon for All Access, CBS seems to have plans to continue the growth of the service along with Showtime OTT. Last month, Moonves revealed CBS’s intentions to market both of the services together.
“As we head into the spring and have Star Trek and Twin Peaks coming out on those competing platforms, how great will it be looking forward to be able to market them together at a slight discount if you buy them both, but that's part of our intent,” Moonves said, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript.