Subscription video service CBS All Access racks up a significantly larger amount of viewing time than CBS’s similar digital platform CBS.com, which is available for free.
Joe Ianniello, president and acting CEO at CBS, said that CBS All Access users watch twice as much as CBS.com users.
“People come in the ecosystem and they get it. The value proposition’s there and they discover things,” Ianniello said Wednesday at a Credit Suisse investor conference.
CBS All Access and the Showtime OTT service are the two primary subscription video-on-demand services that CBS operates. All Access has become a big investment at CBS in terms of creating original, exclusive content for the platform. But, Ianniello said that All Access customers still want more, and that his company sees increasing the content lineup at All Access as key to reducing churn, or “pauses,” as CBS refers to it, since subscribers tend to come back to the platform.
“We want to eliminate or shrink the pause time, if you will, and the way you do that is by having a broad array of content,” said Ianniello. “Why I subscribe may be very different from why you subscribe.”
CBS said its direct-to-consumer service subscriber base grew 71% during the first quarter. The company has estimated that together All Access and Showtime will have 25 million subscribers by 2022. But, those subscriber estimates only account for the U.S. market. All Access has also launched in a few international markets (Canada and Australia) and plans to expand further.
Ianniello said confirmed that Western Europe and Latin America are the next likely targets for international launches but refrained from assigning “artificial” timelines for those launches.
“I want to go fast but I also want to be prudent,” said Ianniello. “I think we’re going to go when we’re ready to capitalize on the opportunity.”
Content, subscriber growth and international expansion are all focal points for CBS’s streaming strategy, but Ianniello said that one often overlooked aspect is that CBS built the tech stack for its streaming services in house.
“We didn’t spend billions of dollars in order to do this,” said Ianniello. “This scales. The technology that we have is proven, it’s distributed with our affiliates that have local feeds in it, there are different commercial ad loads market by market. There’s no other streaming service that has those sort of capabilities.”