CBS has done a lot of shifting around with subscriber growth targets for its streaming platforms. Now the company’s doing it again, projecting All Access and Showtime OTT will have 25 million combined subscribers by 2022.
CBS said that total doesn't include international subscribers or viewers watching CBS's ad-supported streaming channels.
That new figure arrives today along with news that the services currently have 8 million combined subscribers. That’s up from the 5 million combined subscribers that services had at the same time last year. At that point, CBS indicated that those subscribers were about evenly split between All Access and Showtime.
"Our strategy of creating more of the premium content that audiences want and making it available across new and traditional platforms continues to pay off, driving quarterly increases in subscribers at CBS and Showtime, both consecutively and year over year. In addition, we are generating significant momentum with our direct-to-consumer platforms, which provide a great return on investment and represent one of our most powerful long-term growth drivers,” said Joe Ianniello, president and acting CEO at CBS, in a statement.
Along with growth for its streaming platforms CBS reported modest increases in revenue for the fourth quarter. The company’s consolidated revenue increased 3% to $4.02 billion from $3.92 billion. Advertising revenues increased 7% thanks largely to record political advertising sales from the 2018 midterm elections. Affiliate and subscription fee revenues were up 11%, sparked by 53% growth in the company's direct-to-consumer streaming services and increases in retransmission revenues, fees from CBS Television Network affiliated stations, and revenues from virtual MVPDs.
But content licensing and distribution revenues fell 11% due to timing of international licensing sales and large domestic sales during the year-ago quarter.
Despite revenues increasing, operating income for the fourth quarter decreased 10% to $647 million from $716 million. CBS blamed the decrease on restructuring costs and other corporate matters as well as programming charges. But adjusted operating income was up 10% to $837 million from $760 million due in part to decreases in programming costs associated with CBS no longer carrying Thursday Night Football.