CBS rolls out $9.99-a-month commercial-free version of All Access

Credit: Sarah Ackerman/Flickr

CBS Corp. has launched a commercial-free version of its SVOD platform CBS All Access.

The version will run $9.99 a month (the standard platform is $5.99). It features live feeds of local CBS stations, on-demand content from the CBS and — soon — exclusive series such as the series reboot Star Trek: Discovery (yes, they’ve given it a name).

"The addition of a commercial-free plan gives our subscribers even more ways to customize their CBS viewing experience — from which devices to whether they watch in or out of the home, and now with commercials or without,” said Marc DeBevoise, president and chief operating officer of CBS Interactive, in a statement. 

CBS said it will continue to deliver reduced ad loads for on-demand content on the legacy $5.99 platform. Archival shows are still commercial-free. 

Speaking at Nomura’s 2016 Media, Telecom & Internet Conference two weeks ago, CBS COO Joseph Ianniello said the company is currently making around $100 million in revenue off both its Showtime and CBS All Access SVOD platforms.

The “back of the envelope math,” as Ianiello called it, is compelling to pay-TV operators, given that CBS has taken the most aggressive position among broadcasters in regards to negotiating retransmission licensing fees, as well as distribution on operator-backed OTT platforms like Sling TV.

He said that with some of CBS’ partners discounting the $11.99 monthly price of the a la carte streaming Showtime, CBS is netting “eight and a quarterish” in monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) on the platform. 

He said ARPU is similar for All Access, which costs consumers $5.99 a month, but also factors in revenue-sharing with affiliate station operators, as well as revenue from advertising.

Earlier this month, CBS revealed that it currently has around 1 million subscribers for both platforms. 

For more:
- read this CBS Corp. press release

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