ViacomCBS plans to launch ‘broad SVOD’ service within 12 months

Bob Bakish

ViacomCBS plans to launch an international pay TV streaming product in multiple markets within the next year as part of an expansion of its streaming efforts, including boosting its US domestic premium offering CBS All Access with a number of initiatives.

Speaking to analysts after the US studio posted its quarterly results at the end of last week, CEO Bob Bakish said: “In addition to our domestic strategy, I should add that internationally, we will launch a broad pay streaming product in multiple markets over the next 12 months.

“This service will harness the full power of the of the ViacomCBS portfolio, creating a meaningful brand presence in streaming video in key markets around the world.”

He said that the company saw “a real international opportunity” to leverage its combined asset base and “plans to go after it”, without providing more detail.

Building on Q4

The comments expand on statements made by the company in its Q4 earnings that it would build on CBS All Access to create a new ‘broad pay’ product, which will be designed “for audiences around the world.”

Bakish also said in his most recent comments that, in the US, ViacomCBS is looking to “rebrand and relaunch” CBS All Access, the studio’s SVOD streamer, later this year.

The service is immediately being boosted by the addition of 100 Paramount films to its line-up, as well as additional hours of TV and film content over the current and coming months. Bakish said that ViacomCBS would also expand the slate of original programming on the service, as well as adding news and live sports offerings.

Linking up with YouTube

ViacomCBS also announced a new distribution deal with YouTube TV, which will bring Viacom’s cable networks to the platform in addition to existing offerings CBS and Showtime.

YouTube TV will introduce 14 ViacomCBS channels to its lineup. It will continue to carry CBS broadcast stations, CBS Sports Network, Pop TV, Smithsonian Channel, and The CW.

ViacomCBS networks BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, TV Land, and VH1 will launch on YouTube TV this summer. BET Her, MTV2, Nick Jr., NickToons, TeenNick and MTV Classic will launch later.

ViacomCBS’s domestic streaming and digital video revenue – which includes streaming subscription and digital video advertising revenue – grew to US$471m, up 51% year-over-year, in the first quarter. Domestic streaming subscribers surpassed 13.5 million, up 50% year-over-year, including both Showtime and CBS All Access.

AVOD service Pluto TV’s domestic monthly active users grew 55% year-over-year to more than 24 million. Bakish said that he expected domestic streaming subscribers to reach at least 16 million and domestic monthly active users on Pluto to reach at least 30 million by the end of the year.

Overall, the company posted revenues of US$6.67bn, down 6%, with advertising revenues declining by 19%. Operating income was down 49% to US$917m.

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