CBS All Access Announces App Redesign, New Programming, Projects 25M Subs By 2022

CBS All Access will unveil a major redesign for mobile and tablets by summer’s end, the network announced during yesterday’s Television Critics Association event.

Network executives also announced more new programming, and said they’ve set a target of 25 million U.S. subscribers for All Access and Showtime OTT by 2022.

The two CBS-owned apps currently have a combined 8 million subscribers. Hulu and Amazon Prime Video both surpassed 25 million U.S. subscribers as of the end of last year, while Netflix reports 60 million (out of 150 million worldwide).

While the executives provided few specifics about the CBS app’s redesign, users have complained on social media about poor layout and malfunctions, particularly after updates. In the last big update 10 months ago, CBS added “download and play” support to enable offline use of the app.

CBS All Access, which was added to the Apple TV Channels hub just this week, is also continuing its aggressive new programming push, said CBS Interactive President and COO Marc DeBevoise.

The streaming service will offer at least 12 original series by next year, and plans to acquire series, as well as expand into movies, sports, and feature documentaries.

The new offerings will include coverage of “World Series of Poker” bracelet events; a documentary and a limited series based on the Blake J. Harris book “Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo and the Battle that Defined a Generation; a nonfiction series featuring celebrity medium Thomas John; and acquisition of streaming rights to the new CW fall series “Nancy Drew.”

DeBevoise stressed that many more acquisitions would occur going forward, although All Access programming chief Julie McNamara told Variety that decisions about buying new CW shows for the streaming service would be made on a case-by-case basis.

DeBevoise also said that CBS doesn’t fear the coming onslaught of new streaming services from Disney, NBCUniversal, HBO and others. CBS believes there’s room for more players, given that consumers on average subscribe to 3.4 VOD services, but 80% currently have just one service.

CBS All Access is a “tremendous value” for consumers, given that its catalog is “multiples the size of HBO’s total catalog size, and costs only $6 to $10 more, depending on the package that you take,” he added.

CBS All Access’s exclusive “Star Trek: Discovery” programming has been one key to its subscriber growth, and the “Star Trek” portfolio is being expanded for next year. New series include “Star Trek: Picard,” starring Patrick Stewart; the animated “Star Trek: Lower Decks,” and “Star Trek: Short Treks.”

DeBevoise also reported that four out of five All Access subscribers watch streaming shows on traditional TV screens, and that nearly two-thirds of those viewers are in the coveted ages 18 to 49 segment.

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