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CBS All Access Eyeing Ad-Free Content, Ratings Secrecy

10 Aug, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel

CBS All Access, the $5.99 subscription streaming service operated by CBS Corp., is considering an ad-free option as it readies original program launches, including the 13-episode “Star Trek: Discovery” in 2017, a spinoff of “The Good Wife,” and a digital edition of “Big Brother” in the fall.

Speaking Aug. 10 at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Los Angeles, Marc DeBevoise, president and COO of CBS Interactive, said CBS All Access’ commercials would mirror Hulu’s ad load and would not involve classic TV show reruns.

In addition, the service is considering an ad-free plan, which Hulu markets for $11.99 — twice the All Access monthly fee.

“We’re toying with a commercial-free option,” DeBevoise said, as reported by The Wrap.

The executive defended CBS’s decision to launch a handful of original programs compared to Netflix, which is planning to release nearly 20 times the original fare in 2017.

“We’re attached to America’s most-watched television network, and happen to have 40-plus original series coming from that outlet existing on our service. So we’re not necessarily trying to do what Netflix is,” DeBevoise said.

What CBS All Access is copying from Netflix is not releasing viewership data for original programming. Netflix, since its first original episodic program “Lilyhammer” in 2012, has declined to divulge ratings for shows, citing a non-existent advertiser base to appease.

While CBS All Access will run advertising, DeBevoise says the service will share with advertisers how subs react and consume progrmaming, which he characterized as more important than ratings.

“We’re not anticipating releasing individual streaming statistics,” he said.

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