ViacomCBS will rebrand its CBS All Access subscription-based streaming service this summer and expand it into multiple international markets over the next 12 months, CEO Bob Bakish told investors during Thursday's first quarter earnings report.
In addition, the company announced a multiyear expansion of its deal with YouTube TV under which that streaming service, which has 2 million subscribers, will add distribution of 14 more channels owned by Viacom before the late 2019 merger with CBS.
"Major changes [are] coming this summer as we track toward the rebrand and relaunch of a transformed product," Bakish said. “Our biggest franchises will be key to this strategy,” which is to optimize an "already-developed tech platform," rather than "building from scratch."
The focus of the rebrand will be on news, live sports, and on-demand entertainment.
All Access is being prepped for the new name/rebranding with enhancements.
In addition to a coming user interface update, more than 100 films from Paramount's library -- including classic franchises such as "The Godfather" and "Star Trek" -- were added to the SVOD on Thursday. More new content will be added in coming weeks, with VOD content coming from across the portfolio. Given the CBS/Viacom merger, All Access could include access to content from MTV, BET, Nickelodeon, CMT, Comedy Central and Paramount Network, among other sources. The company's various brands will also begin producing original content for the rebranded All Access.
“Expanding CBS All Access’ library of films with these iconic titles from Paramount Pictures is just one of the many ways we’re integrating the phenomenal catalog of IP available to us within the ViacomCBS family,” stated All Access programming chief Julie McNamara. "“The service is on a growth trajectory with two record-breaking months in March and April, and we look forward to bringing even more premium content and value to our subscribers in the coming months.”
CBS All Access also debuted as an app on the homepage of Comcast's Xfinity platform on Thursday.
The 14 ViacomCBS channels being added to YouTube TV under the expanded deal span news, sports, and entertainment. BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, TV Land and VH1 will be added this summer,
It will also continue to carry CBS broadcast stations, CBS Sports Network, Pop TV, Smithsonian Channel, and The CW.
New channels including BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, TV Land and VH1 will arrive on YouTube TV this summer, where they’ll reach the service’s over 2 million subscribers. BET Her, MTV2, Nick Jr., NickToons, TeenNick, MTV Classic and others will be added to YouTube's base package at a later juncture.
YouTube TV and the broader YouTube platform will also continue to offer access to ViacomCBS’s Showtime and other premium subscription services will continue to be accessible through YouTube TV, and now also through other YouTube platforms.
Earlier this week, ViacomCBS announced that its Pluto TV AVOD -- which Bakish called a "fast-growth, broad-reach gateway to the ViacomCBS streaming world" -- have signed the industry's first comprehensive distribution deal spanning pay TV, connected TV and mobile.