Viacom is planning to launch an as of yet unnamed new streaming service that would be built on top of CBS All-Access. The service is expected to make available titles such as “Star Trek,” “The God Father,” and “Shrek” to viewers from Paramount Films that ViacomCBS owns.
Reuters reports that the platform is not expected to receive billions of dollars in new investment but instead would be built from existing resources. There is no clarity on the launch date of the service, but executives are expected to focus on streaming strategy when the company releases its fourth-quarter financial results on Thursday.
In November 2019, Viacom CBS CEO Bob Bakish had told CNBC, “We’re bringing a different approach to the marketplace. One that combines free and paid,” said Bakish, who is set to head the ViacomCBS combined entity. “We’re the leader today in free. We already have, particularly on a Viacom-CBS basis, a nice bouquet of paid products. We’ll use those on an integrated basis, and you’ll see us prosper in that space, as well.”
Why It Matters
Viacom’s brands include MTV, BET, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon. The CBS and Viacom merger was finalized in December 2019. CBS already offers All Access and The Showtime streaming services, while Pluto TV, a free service, is owned by Viacom.
Streaming is getting increasingly competitive with many existing players as well as new entrants. The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) has already reported 28.6 million subscribers as on Tuesday for its Disney+ subscription service that has gained 10 million subscribers since November 2019. Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA) is also planning to launch a streaming service called the Peacock for NBCUniversal brand. Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), which paved the way for many new entrants, has 167 million paying subscribers globally and 61 million in the United States.
ViacomCBS Class A shares traded 3.91% higher at 39.90 in the after-hours session on Thursday. The shares had closed the regular session at 0.52% higher at US$39.40. ViacomCBS Class B shares traded 2.89% higher at $35.60 in the after-hours session on Thursday. The shares had closed the regular session at 0.76% higher at US$34.60.