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CBS Considering Ad-Free 'All Access' Streaming

3 Nov, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

CEO Les Moonves suggests $9.99 monthly service without ads could soon be a reality

CBS All Access, the $5.99 monthly subscription-streaming service, is considering offering ad-free service, CEO Les Moonves told analysts on the Nov. 3 fiscal call.

Moonves, without disclosing subscriber numbers, said the SVOD service generated its highest sub growth in September. It became available on Apple TV two weeks ago.

With Hulu offering ad-free service at 25% above the standard $7.99 fee, Moonves hinted that a 67% price hike to $9.99 for “All Access” without ads could soon be an option.

“It is absolutely something we are thinking about. It’s a very possible thing for the future,” he said.

The executive said “All Access” and Showtime OTT represent major priorities for CBS, underscored by the fact new subs are generating incremental revenue while using the services to catch-up on previous seasons.

As previously reported, CBS is producing a new “Star Trek” series that will be exclusive to “All Access” beginning in 2017. The SVOD service currently has streaming access to all five previous “Star Trek” TV series.

“‘Star Trek’ is an unstoppable franchise,” Moonves said. “[‘Star Trek’] fans are some of the most passionate in the world. We can see millions of them joining ‘All Access.’”

While creating original content for “All Access” is an ongoing discussion, Moonves was quick to add that supplying content to SVOD pioneer Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video remain a priority.

“We find [creating original All Access] content significant and important, but at the same time we value continuing our [SVOD] partnerships,” he said.

Meanwhile, Showtime will be premiering a reboot of “Twin Peaks” in 2017 with director David Lynch, creator of the offbeat series that aired 25 years ago on ABC.

“By bringing Showtime direct to consumers, we now have the ability to reach tens of millions of potential new subscribers in a way we never could before,” Moonves said, adding that acquiring a competing SVOD platform remains a cautious option.

“[It] would have to be a great opportunity for us,” he said.

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