ViacomCBS provided some details on its plans to expand CBS All Access into a broader streaming service with content from Nickelodeon, Paramount and more.
During today’s fourth-quarter earnings call, ViacomCBS Bob Bakish said the new service will be built on top of All Access’ existing technology platform and content lineup and will be available to the service’s existing subscriber base. He said the service will add content from Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, MTV and Smithsonian along with films from the Paramount library. He said it will amount to an additional 30,000 episodes of TV and up to 1,000 movies.
That new content will combine with All Access’ existing content including more than 200 live linear CBS stations and on-demand content including All Access originals.
“Importantly, know that we have designed this offering to be compatible with the evolving distribution landscape. We see it as a value creating opportunity to further broaden of partnerships with traditional distributors akin to our recent Comcast relationship expansion for CBS All Access. And, we also see it as a robust offering for distributors in the broader OTT space including mobile,” Bakish said.
The company said the expanded product will soft launch later this year.
ViacomCBS expects the streaming industry will evolve to support free, broad pay and premium pay services. Pluto TV is its primary free streaming service and Showtime OTT is its primary premium pay service. The expanded CBS All Access will fill the broad pay category.
Pluto TV is now at 22 million monthly active users and expects to end 2020 with 30 million domestically. ViacomCBS said most of that usage and audience is happening in the U.S. but that it expects international markets including the U.K. and Latin America to bigger contributing factors this year.
ViacomCBS said that its domestic streaming and video business – including subscription fees and advertising – brought in approximately $1.6 billion in revenue in 2019. The company anticipates that figure will grow between 35% and 40% in 2020 with “relatively modest, incremental operating expenses.”
ViacomCBS is plotting its streaming future in the wake of completing its merger in December. ViacomCBS seemed optimistic about 2020 but its fourth-quarter results got the newly combined company off to a rocky start. Consolidated revenue fell 3% and adjusted OIBDA fell 32%. The company reported a net loss from continuing operations of $273 million.