Size May Not Be Deciding Factor In Streaming TV

Does size matter to consumers in the streaming TV world? The amount of TV shows and movies may not be a factor, even in this ever cost-conscious media world.

Marc DeBevoise, president-COO of CBS Interactive, says the 5-year-old streaming app CBS All Access, which started in 2014, now delivers 12,000 titles, episodes or movies. Compare this to 8,000 at Starz and 3,000 at HBO.

“Honestly, we are multiple the size of HBO’s total catalog size and only cost $6 to $10, depending on the package you take,” he said during the Television Critics Association meeting on Thursday in Beverly Hills, California.

How important is this when deciding to take on another streaming service? Consumers spend a total of about $35 a month on two-to-three streaming services, depending on your research.

CBS claims its modestly priced service, at a low $5.99 a month, for its basic, ad-supported service, is the reason why it is doing well -- now at 8 million subscribers (when adding subs from the Showtimes app).



DeBevoise didn’t say he was making a comparison to $12 to $14 a month for Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, HBO or other services.

Still, we all know it is all about individual programs for consumers -- especially about new episodes.

If you are looking at CBS All Access, one might think original programming, like “The Good Fight” or the NFL. Thinking about Netflix? That might be  “Stranger Things.” Or in years past, “Orange is the New Black.” HBO watcher? “Game of Thrones” is an obvious choice.

Streaming services have seen big churn numbers -- subscribers leaving for a month or so -- when new original episodes of popular shows are around.

So promoting the idea about thousands of pieces of TV and/or movie content versus the next competing service may seem a bit fuzzy, with consumers asking: What am I really getting here?

This isn’t an either-or scenario, compared to Netflix, HBO, Hulu, or Amazon. Still, if you want to go the numbers route, a better one is this: CBS All Access will have 12 original series on the air next year.

Few consumers think about the size of a service’s “library.” Three thousand, 5,000 or 12,000 still sounds like a lot. So go the opposite route: In addition to program names and actors, give them smaller key numbers.

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