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ViacomCBS raises SVOD target as it ramps up streaming drive

Bob Bakish

ViacomCBS is on track to reach an increased goal of 18 million paying SVOD customers by the end of the year as it cranks up its streaming efforts and prepares for the relaunch of a domestic streaming offering combining CBS All Access and content from Paramount early next year, according to CEO Bob Bakish.

Speaking at a Bank of America conference, Bakish said that the addition of 190 Paramount movies to CBS All Access in July was “in effect is a preview launch of where we’re going” with the service.

Bakish said that double-digit growth in usage of the service in August had been driven by “brands that were not on the service before”

Bakish said that ViacomCBS would expand its streaming originals slate to encompass all of the company’s brands, citing the example of Paramount’s forthcoming feature for Nickelodeon, Sponge on the Run, which will be launched on th streamer rather than theatrically, and SpongeBob spin-off series, Kamp Koral – the first Nickelodeon original for the service.

“The end result will be a compelling differentiated ViacomCBS streaming super service, which offers consumers a broad and differentiated product at a compelling price point. It’s going to have wide demographic appeal across kids, young adults, millennials and older adults and it’s going to have a very robust offering of entertainment, plus sports and news,” he said.

Bakish said that ViacomCBS was “building a linked ecosystem of free and pay streaming offerings, including our super service, Showtime OTT and Pluto TV each of which will be available individually”.

He said the key goal was “ubiquitous distribution” rather than bundling all services together and using a vertically integrated platform.

Bakish also said that the company would look to boost its sports offering as part of the streaming service, and cited its acquisition of the US rights to UEFA Champions League football.

Bakish said that ViacomCBS had now renewed its CBS All Access distribution deal with Amazon Prime Video.