CBS All Access, Showtime OTT now have 5M subscribers combined

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CBS CFO Joe Ianniello said the company is ahead of its plan to hit 8 million by 2020. (Kristin Dos Santos)

CBS is continuing to grow the subscriber bases for its two streaming services, CBS All Access and Showtime OTT, which now have nearly 5 million combined subscribers.

That new total is up from the 4 million combined subscribers CBS announced for the services last year. In breaking out how many subscribers each service has, CBS said they’re about even.

“They’re sort of neck and neck. It’s pretty 50-50 right now, which we’re really pleased about. They’ve gone their own ways and they offer different things. The fact that they’re both doing exceptionally well is a big boon for us,” said CEO Les Moonves during today’s earnings call.

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CBS CFO Joe Ianniello said the company is ahead of its plan to hit 8 million by 2020 and also confirmed that the services are close to even in terms of subscribers.

Ianniello also discussed CBS’s recent deal to begin selling All Access through Amazon Channels. He said that, since the partnership only began in January, the impact so far has been minimal, but he said Channels amounts to a much more significant portion of Showtime OTT’s base.

“[Amazon] is fantastic marketers and show they’re able to drive sub growth which is terrific. We see lower churn with those sort of services because the consumers are used to that proposition. And we do get the data on all of our shows,” said Ianiello.

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Industry analysts like Rich Greenfield have noted before that, while Amazon partnerships drive subscriber growth, they present a bit of a trade-off for programmers.

“While it is phenomenal that premium channels such as HBO, Showtime and Starz are adding paying subscribers, they are not building a direct-to-consumer relationship. Amazon controls the data, consumers are using Amazon’s apps and maybe worst of all, Amazon is learning what shows interest consumers the most and is building their own video service utilizing that data to compete with the third-party channels they offer,” Greenfield wrote in a July 2017 research note.