ViacomCBS is planning a new streaming service that will combine the existing CBS All Access service with Paramount movies and shows from Viacom channels such as MTV and BET. This means adding content from Viacom properties Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, BET and Smithsonian and movies from the Paramount library. The move had been expected since CBS and Viacom combined in August to better compete in the increasingly competitive streaming environment.
CBS was one of the first media companies to launch its own streaming service. Its $6-a-month service CBS All Access includes original programming such as new “Star Trek” series and a revival of “The Twilight Zone.” The service also has old and current broadcast shows.
Since then, Disney launched its $7-a-month Disney Plus service, while Comcast’s NBCUniversal and AT&T’s WarnerMedia have services coming, tapping movies and shows from their channels and production studios. The companies are all trying to challenge Netflix, Amazon and other established players in the streaming arena as their channels face challenges from people ditching cable TV subscriptions.
The new service is designed to fill the gap between ViacomCBS’ free ad-supported service, PlutoTV, and its premium Showtime service, which costs $11 a month. It is set to launch later this year. The CBS and Showtime streaming services now have 11 million monthly active users combined. ViacomCBS is targeting 16 million by the end of the year. PlutoTV has 22 million monthly active users, and ViacomCBS is targeting 30 million by the end of the year.