We called it! Recently, our own Dave Trumbore hypothesized that a ViacomCBS streaming service, taking advantage of their recent corporate merger, could destroy other streaming services in its wake. Now, it looks like Mr. Trumbore’s musings are coming to fruition. According to CNBC, ViacomCBS are indeed developing a new streaming service that would combine everything currently available on the CBS All Access app alongside Viacom’s robust library — including Paramount films and Viacom channels.
This would be… a lot of content. Viacom’s assets include profitable, popular things like Paramount Pictures, much of Miramax Films, Nickelodeon, BET, MTV, and Comedy Central. Thus far, they’ve been licensing individual titles on a case-by-case basis to other streaming services like HBO Max, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and others. Now that the plans are to combine all of these titles with everything currently available on CBS All Access… well, if it ain’t a “Netflix killer,” it’s definitely a “worthy Netflix competitor.”
Thus far, specific details about the still-nascent service are not available, including its name, date of service, or price (though some insiders claim the base version will cost less than $10, which is nuts). We do know that there will be an ad-free version, and a premium version that includes all of Showtime — all with corresponding price increases. More details will be given by ViacomCBS executives on February 20 during a fourth quarter earnings conference call (joining their peers Disney+ in using earnings conference calls to drop big ol’ pieces of news).
Currently, Viacom has CBS All Access-format-borrowing versions of premium channels, including Noggin, a preschool-focused service with shows like Dora the Explorer, and BET+, which features original programming from Tyler Perry. It sounds like the plan is to keep these services as individual choices, while also offering them under the general umbrella of the incoming mega-streaming service (not unlike HBO vs. HBO Max). All of this sure does result in a lot of dang content, and a lot of dang companies to pay between $5-$20 a month for. I don’t know about you, but I’m taking bets on when we’ll all shift back to the “three network” mode of TV. Don’t count it out — after all, we got this one right.